Almost from the moment the ball was tipped to open the inaugural Final Four in 1939, the collegiate basketball championship has been the backdrop for many firsts. From the towering 7-foot Bob Kurland setting the game on its ear in the 1940s, to typical gymnasiums giving way to larger than life stadiums in the 1980s and beyond, the Final Four hass made plenty of basketball -- and social history.

Take a look at a special photo gallery we've created to give credit to the many trailblazers that have made the Final Four the marquee event it is today.