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Get into March Madness with some NCAA basketball history

Credit: Kidsday staff artist / Lingfei Zhao, Syosset

If you are a college basketball fan like we are, this is probably the most exciting time of the year. It is what people call March Madness, when the NCAA basketball tournament is going on.

Have you ever wondered what's the history of March Madness and recent champions? Well, here are all the things you need to know about March Madness. 

The three most recent winners in men’s basketball (excluding this year) are: Villanova in the 2015-2016 season beating North Carolina 77-74; North Carolina in the 2016-2017 season beating Gonzaga 71-65; then, Villanova in the 2017-2018 season beating Michigan 79-62. Villanova is in Pennsylvania near Philadelphia, and Gonzaga is in Spokane, Washington.

The three most recent winners in women’s basketball (excluding this year) are: Connecticut in the 2015-2016 season, which beat Syracuse 82-51; in the 2016-2017 season, South Carolina, which beat Mississippi State 67-55; then in the 2017-2018 season, Notre Dame, which beat Mississippi State 61-58. Notre Dame is in Indiana, and Syracuse is in upstate New York.

The first team to win the men’s championship was the University of Oregon in 1939. The team played against Ohio State University, and the score was 46-33. The game was played in Evanston, Illinois. Oregon is in Eugene, Oregon, and Ohio State University is in Columbus, Ohio.

The first team to win the women’s championship was Louisiana Tech University in 1982. It beat Cheyney University of Pennsylvania 76-62. The game was played in Norfolk, Virginia. Louisiana Tech is in Ruston, Louisiana.

Melinda Moran’s fourth- and fifth-grade Stretch students, Cherry Avenue Elementary School, West Sayville

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