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This Day in Sports History: NCAA Universally Adopts Three-Point Line

On April 2, 1986, the NCAA universally adopted the three-point line in college basketball, years after certain college basketball conferences experimented with the long-range shot. 

At the time of the rule change, a three-pointer was just 19 feet, nine inches.

The addition of the three-point line, however, was not entirely well received. 

From Sports Illustrated's Jack McCallum in 1987

Duke's Mike Krzyzewski considers the monster a threat to America's Puritan ethic. "You should have to work hard to get a basket," says Krzyzewski, who played under Bobby Knight at Army, where everything came hard. Dayton's Don Donoher views the three-point shot as symptomatic of America's declining moral climate. "To me, it's just like a game show," says a disgusted Donoher. "In this world we live in now, we're into wild thrills." Worst of all, the three-point monster has left TCU coach Jim Killingsworth staring into the abyss. "If you pick up a paper someday and read that they can't find me," said Killingsworth when asked about the terrible trey, "I'll be over on the Trinity University Bridge...with a rock tied around my neck."

But despite the disdain, teams barely used the shot, attempting just 9.2 three-pointers per game and making 3.5 during its first full universally implemented season in NCAA Division I men's college basketball. 

The shot itself has evolved in the decades since. After the 2008 season, 21 years after the introduction of the three-point line, the NCAA voted to move the line back one foot, to 20 feet, nine inches. 

It remained at this distance for 11 seasons, but ahead of this year's action, it was moved back to its furthest distance yet in Division I men's college basketball at 22 feet, 1 3/4 inches.