Library Of Congress Babe Ruth

As experts and casual fans alike predicted at the beginning of the season, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors are facing each other in the NBA Finals for the third consecutive year.

It is the first time in NBA history that the same teams have met in the finals three times in a row. Even with powerhouse franchises throughout the years in the NBA like the Celtics and Lakers in the 1950s, 1960s and 1980s, this had never occurred.

The NBA is the last of the four major professional sports leagues to have such a championship trilogy. Let's look at these instances:

World Series: New York Giants vs. New York Yankees (1921, 1922, 1923)

Polo Grounds With Yankee Stadium In The Distance

In 1921 and 1922, the Giants and Yankees both played home games at the Polo Grounds, so there was no real home field advantage for either team. The Giants won both years. The 1921 World Series was the last played with a best-of-nine format. In 1922, Game 2 ended in a tie, the last time that a tie occurred in the World Series. In 1923, Yankee Stadium opened, and Yankees won their first World Series. Hall of Famers from this trilogy: John McGraw, Dave Bancroft, Jesse Burkett, Frankie Frisch, Travis Jackson, George Kelly, Casey Stengel, Ross Youngs, Miller Huggins, Frank Baker, Waite Hoyt, Herb Pennock and Babe Ruth. (Lou Gehrig made his MLB debut in 1923 but wasn't on the Yankees' World Series roster.)

NFL Championship: Cleveland Browns vs. Detroit Lions (1952, 1953, 1954)

Doak Walker

In 1952, the Lions beat the Browns at Cleveland 17-7. Doak Walker (pictured above) had a 67-yard touchdown run for Detroit. In 1953, the Lions hosted the title game and won 17-16 as Bobby Layne hit Jim Doran on a touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter. The Browns got their payback in 1954 with a 56-10 home victory. Cleveland quarterback Otto Graham had three touchdown passes and three touchdown runs. The Browns won the NFL Championship again in 1955, but this time against the Rams. Hall of Famers from this trilogy: Bobby Layne, Lou Creekmur, Dick Stanfel, Yale Lary, Jack Christensen, Doak Walker, Joe Schmidt, Otto Graham, Marion Motley, Lou Groza, Frank Gatski, Dante Lavelli, Bill Willis, Len Ford, Chuck Noll and Doug Atkins.

Stanley Cup Final: Detroit Red Wings vs. Montreal Canadiens (1954, 1955, 1956)

Maurice Richard

You would figure there should have been more than one trilogy when the NHL consisted of just the Original Six teams, but this was it. Detroit won in 1954 as winger Tony Leswick scored in overtime of Game 7. The Red Wings won another seven-game series in 1955. This was the franchise's last championship until 1997. Canadiens icon Maurice Richard didn't play in the 1955 series because he had been suspended for the Richard Riot. In 1956, the Canadiens won in five games with Richard netting the Cup-clinching goal. Hall of Famers in this trilogy: Jean Beliveau, Butch Bouchard, Bernie Geoffrion, Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Elmer Lach, Dickie Moore, Bert Olmstead, Jacques Plante, Maurice Richard, Henri Richard, Keith Allen, Al Arbour, Alex Delvecchio, Red Kelly, Ted Lindsay, Marcel Pronovost, Terry Sawchuk, Glenn Hall, John Bucyk, Murray Costello, Norm Ullman and Gordie Howe.

Despite whatever roster changes that the NBA will experience through the draft and free agency, it is still difficult to see an end to the dominance of the Cavaliers and the Warriors. If they happen to meet again in the 2018 NBA Finals, we'll save you the trouble of looking up the word for it: tetralogy.

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