Bradley is best known for its college basketball success. Bradley has been to eight NCAA tournaments, including two national championship games, three Elite 8's, and four Sweet 16's. Bradley has an overall NCAA Tournament record of 11-8.
Bradley has been to the NIT 20 times and won it four times. Their postseason NIT record is 25-17. Only one school (St. Johns- 27 times) has been to more NITs, or won it more (St. John's 6 times).
The Braves roundball squad, was incidentally cofeatured in a 1955 Sports Illustrated article focusing on their cheerleaders. The two-page spread, heavy with photographs taken at a tournament in New Orleans, LA, keyed on the enthusiasm and school spirit of the coeds. Perhaps as irony, Bradley's basketball team, in action vs. Holy Cross, was shot as background for their avid supporters. Holy Cross defeated the Braves in this game, 89-81.
The Bradley Braves football program was initiated in 1897, concomitant with the school's founding; 3 games were played by the fledgling squad, resulting a in perfect, 0-3-0 season. The Braves continued to field a gridiron team every year, with exception of the interruption of WW2 (1943–45), through the 1970 season. Upon the retirement of Coach Billy Stone, coupled with other considerations, the Bradley Braves football program, was at that point discontinued. (information provided by editor's library of Bradley football ephemera)