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Duke, UNC Among US Sports Teams With Multiple Championships In The 21st Century

Notably missing: Kentucky

NCAA Championship Game: Butler v Duke
 INDIANAPOLIS - APRIL 05: (L-R) Andre Dawkins and Seth Curry of the Duke Blue Devils celebrate with the trophy after Duke won 61-59 against the Butler Bulldogs during the 2010 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 5, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Few athletic achievements are more enduring than winning championships. However a team got there, whatever it took, whether the results along the way were commanding or tenuous, once secured a title in any sport – unless you cheated – is rightly a matter of pride and honor.

Looking at championships secured this century, there have been surprisingly few that involved dominating statements of supremacy. New England in the NFL, UConn in women’s basketball are stubbornly striking exceptions, both pronounced pace-setters in their respective realms.

Conversely, some of the seemingly most untouchable teams in recent history fell short at the threshold of winning a championship that would have indelibly validated their excellence. (Think 34-0 UNLV losing to Duke in the Final Four in 1991, undefeated New England dropped by the New York Giants in the 2007 Super Bowl.)

What follows is a list of the 19 teams in seven major spheres of American sports that won titles at least three times since 2001. We’re not sure if 19 is surprisingly few or shockingly numerous, although we note how difficult it is for any modern team to even repeat as champs in consecutive years.

For those who feel their darlings are doomed to also-ran status like Clemson chasing an ACC Tournament championship, consider the Boston Red Sox.

Long denied a World Series title, sometimes in excruciating circumstances, teasingly pronounced as victims of the “Curse of the Bambino”, the Red Sox won four championships in the past 18 years after enduring a drought that lasted from 1917 through 2003. Recently, though, no major league team has been as successful.

Also note how spoiled fans of archrivals Duke and North Carolina have been in the 21st century. Already among the college game’s elite, the neighbors combined for six NCAA men’s championships since 2001, more precisely six in 17 seasons from ’01 to 2017.

Only UConn has fared as well as the Triangle powers in recent NCAA men’s competition.

ULTIMATE VALIDATION
Most Championships This Century
No. Team League
9 University of Connecticut NCAAW
6 New England Patriots NFL
5 Los Angeles Lakers NBA
4 Boston Red Sox MLB
Minnesota Lynx WNBA
San Antonio Spurs NBA
Seattle Storm WNBA
3 Duke Blue Devils NCAA
University of Connecticut NCAA
University of North Carolina NCAA
San Francisco Giants MLB
Golden State Warriors NBA
Miami Heat NBA
Chicago Black Hawks NHL
Tampa Bay Lightning NHL
Pittsburgh Penguins NHL
Los Angeles Sparks WNBA
Detroit Shock WNBA
Phoenix Mercury WNBA