Monthly Archives: March 2016

Hoop Heroes: A Brief History of the Top Ten College Basketball Champions

hoop heroes

As we head into the final four this weekend and the college basketball championship game next week, on this last day of March Madness, we’re crossing our fingers here at League that our hometown team, the Villanova Wildcats, makes it to the championship game for the first time since  1985.

We thought it would be fun to explore the history of the basketball championship — particularly because this year, only one of the top ten historical winners is appearing. Since 1939, the NCAA has held its annual Men’s Division 1 Basketball Tournament each spring. So what colleges have emerged as championships most often?

#10: University of Florida Gators

florida gators
Image courtesy of FloridaGators.com

The Gators have won two championships — back to back in 2006 and 2007. This year they made it to the big dance, but sadly lost to George Washington 82 to 77. Better luck next year, Gators!

#9: University of Cincinnati Bearcats

Image courtesy of the University of Cincinnatti.
Image courtesy of the University of Cincinnati.

Were you surprised to see the Bearcats on this list? It’s probably because they haven’t won the championship since 1962 — after also winning it in 1961. They’ve made it the dance plenty, though, and this year were in the first round. They lost to local favorites St. Joe’s, 76 to 78.

#8: University of Louisville Cardinals

Image courtesy of University of Louisville.
Image courtesy of University of Louisville.

You can count on the Cardinals to make it to March Madness each year, but sadly, not this year. But they won the Championship in 1980, 1986, and as recently as 2013. Maybe next year, Cardinals!

#7: University of Kansas Jayhawks

kansas
Image courtesy of University of Kansas Athletics Instagram.

The Jayhawks are March Madness regulars, and this year made it all the way into the Elite Eight where they lost to Villanova, 64 to 59. This ruined many a bracket out there. Next year might be your year, Jayhawks!

#6: University of Connecticut Huskies

Image courtesy of UConn Huskies.
Image courtesy of UConn Huskies.

The Huskies often dominate, and they’ve won four championships: 1999, 2004, 2011, and 2014. This year, however, they fell to Kansas in the first round, 73 to 61. But with 33 post-season appearances since 1951, you can expect to see them next year — and the Women’s team is in the final four!

#5: Duke University Blue Devils

Image courtesy of Duke Athletics Instagram.
Image courtesy of Duke Athletics Instagram.

Duke won the day last year — as they did in 1991, 1992, 2001, and 2010 as well. This year they made it the second round before losing to Oregon, 82 to 68. They played with heart, but it wasn’t meant to be. Here’s to 2017!

#4: North Carolina Tar Heels

Image courtesy of GoHeels Instagram.
Image courtesy of Go Heels Instagram.

At last, we’ve reached a championship team that is in the 2016 Final Four. Many a bracket predicts them as the winner in 2016, too. They’ve won in 1957, 1982, 1993, 2005, and 2009 — but 2016 has been one of their best years yet.

#3: Indiana University Hoosiers

Image courtesy of Hoosier Athletics.
Image courtesy of Hoosier Athletics.

Since 1940, the Hoosiers have appeared in the post season a whopping 39 times. They also won the championship five times, in 1940, 1953, 1976, 1981, and 1987. They lost in in the Sweet Sixteen this year to North Carolina, 101 to 86, here in Philadelphia.

#2: University of  Kentucky Wildcats

Image courtesy of Kentucky Athletics Instagram.
Image courtesy of Kentucky Athletics Instagram.

With fifty six post-season appearances and a whopping eight championships, Kentucky is no stranger to March Madness. They won in 1948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996, 1998, and 2012, but this year lost in round two to Indiana, 73 to 67.

#1: UCLA Bruins

Image courtesy of UCLA Bruins.
Image courtesy of UCLA Bruins.

Were you surprised to see the Bruins at #1? If so, it’s probably because they haven’t won a championship since 1995, but they’ve won eleven times: in 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, and 1995. Last year they made it to the Sweet Sixteen, but this year didn’t go post-season at all. Hopefully next year will be a banner year for this team.

League’s March Madness 2016: The Final Four

 

final fourIt’s that time of year! The best of 2016’s college basketball teams are in the midst of March Madness. We’re down to the final four, with Villanova, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Syracuse ready to play on April 2nd. Naturally we’re also fully suffering from March Madness here at League, so we asked around the water cooler to see who is in everyone’s brackets.

Image courtesy of Kansas University.
Image courtesy of Kansas University.

The “Darkroom Crew” isn’t as big a fan of Nova as the rest of us. They were betting the final four would be Kansas, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Virginia. Well, they were half right! They predict the championship game will be Oklahoma vs. North Carolina, with Oklahoma winning it all. 

oregon-ducks

Lauren Conaway, League’s brand new Human Resources Manager (welcome, Lauren!) said, “I am a St. Joe’s grad and would have loved to see them going all the way. Rooting for Nova is still a little hard.” (Yes, Villanova and St. Joseph University are local rivals). In the Sweet Sixteen she rooted for KansasOregon, and Gonzaga (all made it that far) but her last team was West Virginia. Sorry Lauren! Can you root for Nova now?

Image courtesy of GoZags.
Image courtesy of GoZags.

Larry McLaughlin, our Purchasing Manager, has only one team on his mind. “All in on Nova!” he said. We are right there with him.

Image courtesy of Villanova Wildcats.
Image courtesy of Villanova Wildcats.

Eddie Dwyer, our Accounting/Finance Manager, says “My son Kevin has a Physics degree from Maryland and is now in his 7th year of graduate school there in a PhD program for Material Science and Engineering. He is a huge sports fan, especially Maryland basketball…so you can tell who my wife and I are rooting for!” Sorry you got your heart broke, Eddie!

Image courtesy of University of Maryland.
Image courtesy of University of Maryland.

Most of us are pinning our hopes on the fantastic Villanova Wildcats because they are our local team, but we’re still cheering on the Sooners, Tar Heels, and Orange! Good luck to the teams playing Saturday!

This summer, Will D. Cat stopped by League Bridgeport and found our new cropped tee!
This summer, Will D. Cat stopped by League Bridgeport and found our new cropped tee!

National Puppy Day! Celebrating League’s Puppies

header puppy day League

It’s National Puppy Day! What better way to celebrate than introducing you to the many “puppies” of League? Our team members have some real cuties of all shapes and sizes. And while technically none of them are currently in their puppyhood, they are still puppies to us.

Ready to meet the pups?

louie

Louie here might look tough, but he’s actually the sweetest. He’s owned by none other than League’s co-owner Larry Klebanoff! Don’t you want to just rub that big ol’ head?

Grover

Grover here — posed quite charmingly on a League blanket — is owned by Lauri Winters, our Director of Administration, Sales and Marketing.Grover was a birthday present to her kids when they were in the 3rd grade. He is now 15 years old and still gets into way too much trouble! “He’s cute all right,” says Lauri. “That face saves him all the time.”

buddy

This sweet faced boy is Buddy, owned by Justyn Wazynski, who is in our IT Department. “I rescued Buddy on his very last day on death row,” Justyn tells us. “He was a year old at Philadelphia Animal Care & Control. He’s six now.”

parker

Look at this cutie! Parker here is owned by Larry McLaughlin, our Purchasing Manager. How can you resist that face?

timber

Timber here is an Alaskan Klee Kai, and is held (and owned by) our Print Production Manager Tim Suchora. If Timber is Alaskan, maybe he can mush a tiny little sled?

brownie

That’s totally a normal way for a dog to sit! Brownie here is a Beagle/Boston Terrier mix and is owned by Jaime Nelson in IT Support. Jaime says, “My daughter Morgan and I got her on Labor Day 2009 the day after my husband’s fantasy football draft. Needless to say, he wasn’t feeling well that day so we took advantage of the situation and went and got her. He didn’t believe we went to get her until we brought her home. It was funny to see his expression when we walked through the door with her.”

sophie

Gorgeous Sophie is a living alarm clock, according to her owner Meghan McCloskey. “Sophie brings a pair of socks to my bed every morning and jumps up/ whines until I wake up!” Meghan tells us. “She came into the family as soon as I left for college and turned into the 5th child.”

cannie

Cannie Belle is a pit bull mix rescued from the Delaware County SPCA by Cecily Kellogg, our Social Media consultant. “She’s totally vicious,” says Cecily. “If you’re a tennis ball, that is. She’s also completely bullied by our cats.”

If you aren’t lucky enough to be a dog owner, be sure to check your local shelters! Many are offering adoption deals in honor of National Puppy Day. You won’t regret it!