Sunday, November 29, 2015

Explorers Aiming for the Top

One step toward the NCAA Tournament.

Explorers Aiming for the Top


When last we left the La Salle Explorers Sunday afternoon, they had snapped a 10-game losing streak to Villanova. That is the first step toward ending another streak ... 22 consecutive seasons since its last outright City Series title.

And one of those would go a long way toward the ultimate prize for La Salle, returning to the NCAA Tournament after a two-decade long absence.

Since the Big 5 was created for the 1955-56 season, there have been 31 outright City Series champions. (The eight half round-robin seasons in the 1990s don't count in our book.) Of those 31 teams, 24 made the NCAA Tournament. That includes the last eight and 18 of the 20 since 1970.

Here are the full round-robin city series champions and their postseason performance:

 Year  Team  Postseason          
 Year  Team  Postseason
 1956  Saint Joseph's  NIT (2-1)  1980  Saint Joseph's  NIT (0-1)
 1958  Temple  NCAA (3-1)  1983  Villanova  NCAA (2-1)
 1959  Saint Joseph's  NCAA (0-2)  1985  Villanova  NCAA (6-0)
 1961  Saint Joseph's  NCAA (3-1)  1987  Temple  NCAA (1-1)
 1962  Villanova  NCAA (2-1)  1988  Temple  NCAA (3-1)
 1964  La Salle  —  1990  La Salle  NCAA (1-1)
 1965  Saint Joseph's  NCAA (1-2)  2001  Villanova  NIT (0-1)
 1966  Saint Joseph's  NCAA (2-1)  2002  Penn  NCAA (0-1)
 1967  Villanova  NIT (0-1)  2003  Saint Joseph's  NCAA (0-1)
 1968  Saint Joseph's  —  2004  Saint Joseph's  NCAA (3-1)
 1969  La Salle  Ineligible  2006  Villanova  NCAA (3-1)
 1970  Penn  NCAA (0-1)  2007  Villanova  NCAA (0-1)
 1971  Penn  NCAA (2-1)  2009  Villanova  NCAA (4-1)
 1973  Penn  NCAA (1-2)  2010  Villanova  NCAA (1-1)
 1974  Penn  NCAA (0-1)  2011  Villanova  NCAA (0-1)
 1975  La Salle  NCAA      


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About this blog

Boop – who goes by Bob Vetrone Jr. when he is undercover or paying bills – has been at the Daily News since 1982, after working for five years at the Philadelphia Bulletin up to its closing. Along with helping to build the sports scoreboards most nights, he has had great input into the papers’ special sports pullouts – March Madness, Broad Street Run, Record Breakers, Greatest Moments – as well as its day-to-day, award-winning event coverage.

A 1980 graduate of North Catholic, he took some evening college courses. Those lasted right up until the first conflict with a Big 5 doubleheader.

His favorite books growing up were the NBA Guide and the Baseball Encyclopedia, which was, for all intents and purposes, the Internet before there was an Internet.

He has been immersed in sports statistics since the early 70s, when his father (long-time sports writer, broadcaster and the Daily News’ Buck The Bartender), would take him into the Bulletin newsroom overnight in the summer and let him update the Phillies statistics in a little, black spiral notebook. But things have changed tremendously in the decades since … He now uses a big, black spiral notebook.

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