Lafayette College Leopards
The Lafayette Leopards defeated the Americans 65-63 to claim their first NCAA tournament title in school history. Lafayette received its first-ever bid for the NCAA tournament, but lost 75-71 in the semifinals to Palestra University. LaFollette College's men's basketball team from Lafayette, La., has won the NCAA Division I title I'm a basketball champion for the first time since 2000. In the 2015-16 season, the Leopards finished with a 22-10 record (9-5 in the Big East Conference) and then qualified for their second consecutive conference tournament and third consecutive conference title. Finally, they won their fifth regular-season conference title, reaching the college basketball championship game in the program's history, and eventually reaching the NCAA tournament for the first time in 2000 and the second time in four years. On Saturday, March 4, 2015, Lafayette jumped off the bench in front of 7,000 fans at the sold-out Lafayette's Alumni Hall of Fame Arena to defeat the American 65-63 to become the men's basketball champion.
L Lafayette finished the season in 19th place in the top 20, beating Loyola University, MD, before losing to Monmouth University by one point. Lafayette qualified again in 1978, losing to eventual national champion Maryland 6-0, but qualified for the first time in school history in 2000 and the second time since 2000.
The Leopards had their best stretch of the season in the second half, continuing a four-game winning streak with wins over NJIT, Wagner, Manhattan and Binghamton. Lafayette made it to the fifth without any problems - beating Boston U. and then knocking off the regular-season winner Bucknell 80-74.
Lafayette won the 1985 European Championship in the ECC tournament by beating Lehigh 20-0 and defeating the Mountain Hawks for the second time in 1987. Lafayette made it to the championship games in 1984, 1986 and 1988, but lost twice to Drexel University and the University of Delaware by a combined 11 points. They defeated Rider and West Chester University in 1992, where they fell to Rider University, and then made the return trip in 1993, where they defeated both Rider (1993) and East Chester (1994) to claim the title.
Lafayette lost the 2011 championship game to Bucknell 23-17 in the final game of the regular season. In the 2005 rivalry game played at Lehigh, Lafayette's backup quarterback Pat Davis threw a 37-yard TD pass to running back Jonathan Hurt, who gave the Leopards a 23-19 victory with 38 seconds left. The game was highlighted as a top-ten game on ESPN, and Lafayette and Le'Veon Bell equalized after missing extra points 6-6.
The Leopards finished the season in 18th place and qualified for their third postseason tournament the following year. Instead, they were invited to the 1957 NCAA tournament, but lost in the first round to the University of California at Berkeley 24-14.
Tripucka and Tracy's younger brother Todd led the Leopards to the NIT in 1975, where Lafayette lost to St. John's University of New York. Tracy scored four goals in the NCAA tournament and led them to their first victory of the season. Goaltender Kelsey Anderson was named the third man on the team with a .943 save percentage and 2.01 goals - against average.
The Leopards returned to the Patriot League championship game and defeated Kutztown University before bowing out to Princeton University, which suffered its second loss of the season to the Tigers. They fell behind to Lehigh with a full scholarship team, but won against Bucknell to end the Lions' three-game winning streak against the American Athletic Conference team. During their 2002 title run, Bucknell was the only Patriot League team to beat an American in the tournament.
Lafayette won its first championship in the Patriot League with a 19-3-0 record and took an 8-0-1 lead in its first season in the American Athletics Conference. Lafayette has a winning record against the spread, going 13-8 (1.1 at-bats) while covering 59-for-1 all-time.
The Mountain Hawks will try again on Saturday when they host Lafayette at Stabler Arena. The entire day of the event will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the first match taking place at 7 p.m. and the second and third at 8 p.m. and 9.30 p.m.
Under the direction of head coach Barbara Young, the Leopards have been invited to train with the US men's and women's national teams for the 2016-17 season. The elite basketball camp will be the first of its kind in the nation and will be led by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's men's basketball team. In addition, this event is an opportunity for Lafayette basketball players, coaches, staff and employees to showcase their talents to a national audience.
The Leopards entered the Patriot League in 1990-91 and had two seasons with 19 wins and three consecutive seasons with at least 20 wins in 1992 and 1993.