Conference championship season is a magical time throughout the country. Teams and schools see their March Madness dreams realized. But when a school wins the conference in both men’s and women’s basketball, now it enters rarified air.
Four mid-major conferences featured the same school winning both titles. They are the following: Vermont, Princeton, Iona and Drake.
America East – Vermont
After both Catamount teams won the regular-season crowns, they capped their seasons off with tournament titles as well.
The men claimed their 10th America East championship with a 72-59 win over UMass Lowell in the title game. They won all three of their games in the tournament by double figures. It’s the second straight year the Catamounts are dancing and fourth time in the last seven years.
The women edged Albany 38-36 in the title game. The Catamounts limited the Great Danes to 17 points in the first three quarters. This marks their first championship since they won back-to-back in 2009 and 2010. Vermont has won 17 games in a row, its longest streak since 1993.
Ivy – Princeton
For the first time in Ivy League history, one school won both basketball championships. The two Tigers tied for the regular-season championship but left no doubt by claiming the Ivy League tournament crowns.
The men’s team raced past Yale 74-65 in the title game. Princeton shot 6-for-13 from 3-point land in the first half. It knocked off Penn by seven in the semifinals. This marks the first time since 2017 that the Tigers are dancing.
The women went back-to-back with a 54-48 win over Harvard in the championship game. It was a tied game with less than 40 seconds remaining until Ellie Mitchell hit a layup, and the Tigers scored the final six points. She recorded double-doubles in both of the Tigers’ tournament wins.
MAAC – Iona
For the second time in school history, Iona won both the men’s and women’s basketball championships. The other was 2016.
With @IonaGaels winning both #MAACHoops it becomes the 4th time in MAAC history the same school takes both Men's and Women's crowns home!— #MAACHoops (@MAACHoops) March 12, 2023
Loyola (1994) #MAACHoops x #GaelNation pic.twitter.com/PAsyoBXUsl
The men earned their 14th conference title with a 76-55 win over Marist. The Gaels, who were also the regular-season champs, are headed to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in the last eight years. Daniss Jenkins poured in 22 of his 27 points in the second half of the title game.
The women’s team claimed the program’s second title with a 73-60 win over Manhattan. Ketsia Athias registered the first triple-double in program history with 11 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Iona, which won the regular-season crown as well, won its quarterfinal and semifinal games by a combined three points.
Missouri Valley – Drake
The MVC runs through Des Moines, Iowa. Both Drake squads pulled off upsets to punch their tickets to the Big Dance.
CHAMPIONS CROWNED @DrakeWBB clinch the win over the Bruins to head to the @MarchMadnessWBB tournament‼️— Missouri Valley Conference (@MVCsports) March 12, 2023
For the 1⃣st time in @DUBulldogs history both men's & women's teams CLINCH THE TOURNAMENT TITLE & ARE GOING DANCING‼️‼️#ValleyHoops pic.twitter.com/c26I5PEWgY
The men were the No. 2 seed and topped regular-season champion Bradley in the title game 77-51. The Bulldogs shot a blistering 67% in the second half and 56% for the game. This is Drake’s second conference championship. It has won 27 games, the second most in school history and one behind the 2008 team, which was the other conference championship season.
The women were a surprise to win the title as the four seed. The Bulldogs beat Belmont 89-71 in the title game. They shot 59% for the game and knocked down 11 of their 16 field goal attempts in the third quarter. Five players scored in double figures. Drake dominated top-seed Illinois State by 20 points in the semifinals.