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Double Trouble: Seven conferences feature regular-season champions in men’s and women’s basketball

Vermont, UC Irvine, Princeton, Iona, Toledo, Sothern Miss and Gonzaga reign supreme in their respective conferences

Nelly Jr. Joseph and Juana Camilion
Iona claimed both MAAC regular-season titles for just the second time. Both Gaels reeled off win streaks of 11 or better.
Photos Courtesy of Joe D’Aloisio

Over the course of a four-month regular season, it takes a lot for a school to win one conference crown. It takes persistence. It takes endurance. It takes consistency. For a school to win two league titles in one year, now that’s special.

Seven mid-major conferences had both of their conference champions come from the same school.

Below is a look at the success of these schools (in alphabetical order by conference).

America East – Vermont

Both Catamount teams went 14-2 in the conference. For the men’s squad it is their seventh straight regular season crown. After splitting its first four games, they won their final 12 games of the regular season with nine of them coming by double figures. The women had a similar trend as they dropped their first two America East contests and then won 14 straight to close out the regular season. The streak started with a one-point overtime win at Bryant. They finished tied atop the league standings with Albany.

Big West – UC Irvine

The men went 15-5, the same mark as UC Santa Barbara. The Anteaters have won at least a share of the regular season crown in four of the last seven seasons. As for the women, they went 16-2 and won their first regular-season title. They finished percentage points ahead of Long Beach State for the top spot. UCI won its last seven games. It has the best defense in the conference, allowing 53.1 points per game.

Ivy – Princeton

Both Tiger programs claimed a share of the regular-season crown. The men went 10-4, which was even with Yale. It is the Tigers’ second straight crown. Their longest win streak against Ivy league opponents was three games. The women, who were 12-2, dropped their first two conference games and then won 13 straight to close out the season (with one non-conference contest mixed in there). All but one of these wins came by double figures. This marks the program’s fifth straight Ivy League title. Columbia was also 12-2.

MAAC – Iona

For the second time in history, the Gaels won both regular-season titles. The other year was 2014. The men went 17-3 and won the conference by four games. They won their final 11 games of the season and haven’t lost since late January. The Maroon & Gold boasted the most prolific offense in the league at 76.6 points per game. The women finished 18-2 and won 16 straight in the middle of the season. They held opponents below 50 points seven times during that win streak. The Gaels tied the program record for conference wins.

MAC – Toledo

Both Rocket teams posted 16-2 marks in the conference. The men have won three straight crowns. After dropping two of their first three league games, they won their last 15 with 10 of them coming by double figures. They are pouring in 85.7 points per game, which ranks second in the country. The women won their second straight title. The Rockets won their last 13 games. They are led by Quinesha Lockett, who ranks second in the league at 18.0 points per game.

Sun Belt – Southern Miss

The men claimed the title by one game with a 14-4 record. They were perfect at home this season. The Golden Eagles reeled off a nine-game winning streak during the middle of league play. This season marks the third time in program history that Southern Miss took home the title, joining 1991 and 2001. On the women’s side, the Golden Eagles tied with James Madison and Texas State at 13-5. They won their final five games of the regular season, including a pair of overtime triumphs.

WCC – Gonzaga

No surprise again that the league runs through Spokane, Wash. The men tied with Saint Mary’s atop the standings at 14-2. They won their last seven games of the regular season during which they scored 95.7 points a game. The Zags have the best offense in the country at 88.0 points per contest. The women posted a 17-1 mark in the conference. They had the best offense (72.6) and defense (59.3) in the conference. All but three of their victories came by double figures.