75 years ago: Oregon wins first-ever NCAA national title

75 years ago: Oregon wins first-ever NCAA national title
People packed the streets of Eugene in March 1939 to welcome home the Tall Firs, the first-ever NCAA national basketball champions

EUGENE, Ore. - They're all gone now, those Tall Firs.

But 75 years ago March 27, the University of Oregon basketball team made history.

The team from Eugene beat Ohio State 46-33 in the first ever NCAA championship game in 1939.

John Dick, one of three starters over 6-foot-4 and the team's lead scorer in the championship, shared his story in January 2011. He died the following September at the age of 92.

"People on both sides of the street, the whole way," Dick said of the response back home. "I couldn't believe it. I don't know where they all came from."

Oregonians came out of the woodwork to celebrate this one-of-a-kind team.

And the celebration came just in time: Oregon was climbing out of the Great Depression.

"It gave everybody in the state greater confidence and greater pride in our achievements," Dick said.