The Bay Area's history with the NCAA Basketball Tournament is as old as the tournament itself.

The inaugural tournament was played in 1939, and the site of the West Regional was Treasure Island. It wasn't exactly March Madness then — the tournament consisted of eight teams.

The Bay Area was a frequent host in the early years and, in 1960, the Cow Palace was the site of the Final Four. It wasn't known as the Final Four, however.

For the next 30 years, the NCAA and the Bay went their separate ways. Now March Madness is back, for the seventh time since 1990, and we'll see if something happens in San Jose over the next few days that requires us to update our list of the 10 most memorable games in the history of the NCAA Tournament in the Bay Area.

Here's our look at the 10 greatest NCAA Tournament moments on Bay Area soil:

1. "The arrival of Elgin"

Seattle 66, Cal 62 (OT)

March 15, 1958

Cow Palace

Others would emerge from the same mold — Connie Hawkins, Dr. J, David Thompson, Michael Jordan — but when Elgin Baylor came along, there never had been a player like him. Explosive and powerful at 6-foot-6, Baylor was a pioneer who played the game above the rim. At the 1958 West Regionals, he hit a last-second 30-footer to beat USF, capping a 35-point performance. He was just as good the next night, totaling 26 points and 18 rebounds as Seattle beat Cal in overtime. Asked if he'd ever seen such a talent, longtime Oregon State coach Slats Gill said, "Bill Russell would be the only one I could think of who might be able to control Baylor. And he'd sure have his work cut out for him." The loss kept Cal out of the Final Four, but only until the next season.

2. "In memory of Hank"

UNLV 131, Loyola Marymount 101

March 25, 1990

Oakland Coliseum Arena

One of the most stirring stories in tournament history came to an end when Loyola Marymount was eliminated three weeks after the death of teammate Hank Gathers. After overwhelming New Mexico State and defending champion Michigan, then edging Alabama, tournament darling LMU faced coach Jerry Tarkanian and the dark lords of college basketball in the Elite Eight. Bo Kimble's 42 points and 11 rebounds weren't nearly enough to overcome the mighty Rebels, who would crush Duke a week later to win the national title. When he departed with just over a minute left, Kimble received a standing ovation from the Coliseum crowd of 14,298. Asked what he told his team after the game, LMU coach Paul Westhead said: "I told them, 'I'm proud of you.'"

3. "Buckeye bombing"

Ohio State 75, Cal 55

March 19, 1960

Cow Palace

In the summer of 1959, Ohio State coach Fred Taylor approached Cal coach Pete Newell at a clinic and asked for some defensive strategies. Nine months later, Taylor and his Buckeyes used those ideas to throttle the defending NCAA champion Golden Bears in the national title game. Ohio State held Cal to 29.6 percent shooting in the first half while building a 37-19 lead. But Newell said the difference was Ohio State's remarkable shooting. Led by All-America forward Jerry Lucas, who had 16 points and 10 rebounds, the Buckeyes made 16 of 19 shots in the first half and converted 67.4 percent for the game. "What it comes down to," said Newell, after coaching his final game for Cal, "is we got bombed by the best shooting I've ever seen."

4. "The start of something"

Oregon 55, Oklahoma 37

March 21, 1939

Treasure Island Coliseum

The Golden Gate International Exposition — the West Coast version of the World's Fair — was in full swing on Treasure Island when a new college basketball event paid a visit. The first NCAA Tournament was held in '39, and the inaugural champion "Tall Firs" of Oregon played their way to the final game in Evanston, Ill., by winning twice on a springy, portable floor at Treasure Island. A crowd of 4,000 bought tickets priced 25 and 50 cents, then watched 6-foot-4 John Dick score 14 points in Oregon's national semifinal victory over the Sooners.

5. "Stanford's run ends"

Utah 82, Stanford 77 (OT)

March 20, 1997

San Jose Arena

Stanford's first Sweet 16 appearance came just a few miles from campus — and produced one of the best-played tournament games in Bay Area history. The sixth-seeded Cardinal, fresh off an upset of No. 3 Wake Forest (and Tim Duncan), rallied from a 16-point second-half deficit and forced overtime when star guard Brevin Knight made a 3-pointer from the left corner with seven seconds remaining. But Utah, playing without All-American Keith Van Horn, who had fouled out, escaped in overtime thanks to center Michael Doleac. In what would be the final game of Knight's stellar career, he scored 27 points and had nine assists.

6. "Russell didn't scare"

USF 89, West Texas State 66

March 8, 1955

Cow Palace

This was Oakland-bred center Bill Russell's postseason debut, and West Texas State decided to see what the wiry junior was made of. Twice in the first three minutes, Russell was knocked hard to the floor. Many of the 14,000 fans on hand booed, and the referees warned the Texans to keep it clean. Russell didn't need anyone's help. "He didn't scare," USF team captain Jerry Mullen said afterward. Russell wound up shooting 14-for-18 and scored 29 points before leaving the game with USF leading 71-48. He would fuel the Dons to nine straight NCAA Tournament victories, averaging 23.2 points during two championship runs.

7. "The Zags crumble"

UCLA 73, Gonzaga 71

March 23, 2006

Oakland Coliseum Arena

This was the year Gonzaga would finally break through. With the unstoppable Adam Morrison, this was the year the Zags would finally reach the Final Four. And they were close, leading UCLA by nine points with three minutes remaining in a Sweet 16 showdown. Then the Bruins mustered one final charge, the Zags crumbled and madness ensued: Jordan Farmar's steal ... Luc Richard Mbah a Moute's layup .... a Gonzaga turnover. And in the end, as UCLA celebrated a comeback for the ages, Morrison was lying on the floor, sobbing. His brilliant career was over. Gonzaga's dream was dead. "It just happened in a blur," Morrison said later. "We just had a few mistakes and you have to take your hat off to UCLA."

8. "UCLA survives shootout"

UCLA 102, Connecticut 96

March 25, 1995

Oakland Coliseum Arena

The top-seeded Bruins moved one step closer to their 11th national championship with a scintillating Elite Eight victory over the No. 2 Huskies in the highest-scoring game of the tournament. UConn got 36 points from sophomore guard Ray Allen, but the best player on the floor was UCLA point guard Tyus Edney, whose 22 points and 10 assists powered the Bruins to their first Final Four in 15 years. "A giant on the court," UCLA coach Jim Harrick called the diminutive Edney. It was a four-point game midway through the second half, but the Bruins pulled away behind Edney, and freshmen Toby Bailey and J.R. Henderson, who combined for 44 points. "If we had to go down," UConn coach Jim Calhoun said, "we went down to the best team we've played."

9. "En route to a title"

Cal 66, Saint Mary's 46

March 14, 1959

Cow Palace

With an enrollment of 19,000 students, Cal was the largest school entered in the 1959 NCAA Tournament. Saint Mary's, with just 700 undergrads, was the smallest. The Gaels must have felt like Berkeley's entire student body was playing defense in the West Regional final. Saint Mary's shot just 31 percent, and Cal center Darrall Imhoff earned MVP honors after totaling 10 points and 15 rebounds and limiting future NBA player Tom Meschery to 2-for-9 shooting and five points. Said Saint Mary's coach Jim Weaver, "I think there is an excellent chance California will go all the way." He was right: The Bears survived Oscar Robertson (Cincinnati) and Jerry West (West Virginia) in the Final Four at Louisville to win their only national title.

10. "Madness on The Farm"

Santa Clara 81, Hardin-Simmons 56

March 10, 1953

Stanford Pavilion

The only NCAA Tournament men's game ever held on the Stanford campus was played before a capacity crowd of 2,000 fans. (The facility, built in 1921, has been renamed Burnham Pavilion & Ford Center and is home to the Stanford gymnastics and men's volleyball teams.) Dick Soares led the Broncos with 21 points, which was nearly three times his per-game average. The victory sent Santa Clara to the regional semifinals in Corvallis, Ore., where the Broncos beat Wyoming. Their charge ended with a loss to Washington, one game short of a second consecutive Final Four.