Wisconsin and Marquette NCAA Championship bobble heads released By Jimmy Carlton
Local college hoops fans and novelty memorabilia collectors rejoice: The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled bobbleheads commemorating 10 NCAA Championship-winning men's basketball teams, including Wisconsin and Marquette.
The Hall of Fame and Museum, which doesn't yet have a physical location but is planning to open in Downtown Milwaukee sometime this year, released figurines on Wednesday featuring the mascots of 10 schools that have won a single national championship. Bobbleheads for the Badgers' 1941 title team and the Golden Eagles' (then Warriors') 1977 squad are among those currently for sale.
Previously, the Hall of Fame and Museum had produced bobbleheads for schools that have won multiple national championships. This is the second series of College Basketball Championship bobbleheads, released in advance of the 2017 NCAA Tournament that will take place this month.
"These bobbleheads are the perfect way for fans to commemorate their favorite school's championships," said Phil Sklar, co-founder and CEO of the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum. "And what better time than March to celebrate those memories?"
Each bobblehead in the series is individually numbered to only 216 and features the school's current mascot with replica national championship trophies, as well as a backing that lists the year of the title. Since 1939, the NCAA has crowned a men's basketball national champion, with only 35 different schools winning at least one title.
Besides Wisconsin and Marquette, the following schools were produced in this series: Arizona Wildcats (1997), Arkansas Razorbacks (1994), California Golden Bears (1959), Georgetown Hoyas (1984), Ohio State Buckeyes (1960), Oregon Ducks (1939), Syracuse Orange (2003) and Utah Utes (1944). The bobbleheads, which are officially licensed, are in stock and priced at $40 each, with $8 flat-rate shipping.
The first series featured the following schools: Kentucky Wildcats (eight championships), North Carolina Tar Heels (five), Connecticut Huskies (four), Louisville Cardinals (three), Kansas Jayhawks (three), Villanova Wildcats (two), North Carolina State Wolfpack (two), Michigan State Spartans (two), Oklahoma State Cowboys (two), San Francisco Dons (two), Cincinnati Bearcats (two) and Florida Gators (two). The Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisville and Villanova bobbleheads are sold out, while a limited number of the others remain.
"We designed these to be the ultimate memento for each of the school's biggest fans," said Brad Novak, National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum co-founder and president. "These will be cherished collectibles that bring back great memories of championship seasons."
The fledgling institution, which was created in 2014 and hosted a Preview Exhibit at RedLine Milwaukee from January through April of last year, is currently planning for a permanent location. The Hall of Fame and Museum produces customized, high-quality bobbleheads for organizations, individuals and teams across the country.
The Badgers won their only national title on March 29, 1941, in Kansas City, Missouri, with a 39-34 victory over Washington State. Wisconsin, coached by Bud Foster, had gone just 5-15 the previous year and its record was 5-3 after losing the Big Ten opener to Minnesota. But the Badgers would not be defeated again, winning 12 straight games to finish the regular season and advance through the NCAA Tournament, as sophomore forward John Kotz was named the Most Outstanding Player.
Marquette won the 1977 National Championship under head coach Al McGuire, whose team beat North Carolina, 67-59, in Atlanta on March 28. Junior guard Butch Lee was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, and immediately after the title game McGuire retired. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Warriors' – now Golden Eagles' – only NCAA Championship.