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Minnesota State men's and women's basketball teams both win DII championship titles

Minnesota State University brings home 2 championship titles over the weekend
Minnesota State University brings home 2 championship titles over the weekend 02:24

MANKATO, Minn. — Mankato can be renamed "Title Town" after this weekend. The Minnesota State University men's and women's basketball teams both took home the Division II NCAA championships.

Front Street in Mankato is lined with all the bars and restaurants in town and they were packed with people the last two days watching the MSU Mavericks basketball teams make history.

"We have a couple Snapchat videos of us going a little bit nuts," Kyle Murray said.

Murray watched both the men's and women's games at Mankato bars with friends.

Witnessing a double national championship in the same weekend is something he never expected for his small town.

2024 NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Championship
Joey Batt #1 of the Minnesota State University Mankato Mavericks moves in transition against Texas Women's University Pioneers during the Division II Women's Basketball Championship held at St. Joseph Civic Arena on March 29, 2024 in St Joseph, Missouri. Evert Nelson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

"We had last-second shots for both the men's and the women's advance and to win...That memory is going to stay with the people on the court and the people who watched," Murray said. "We know who they are and we know who they were when that happened."

The women's team took home the title on Friday. The men did the same thing for the first time in program history on Saturday.

This is only the third time in any division a school won the men's and women's championships in the same season.

"We had all the TVs streaming and we had quite a few tables in here," Izzy Walker said.

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Walker is the general manager of the 507 bar in Mankato where they watched the games over the weekend

Two of the women's team standout players — senior Joey Batt and junior Destinee Bursch — work at the 507 when they're not shooting hoops.

"It was so crazy to see them on the screen doing what they love knowing that they're going to come back to this town and celebrate with us," Walker said.

2024 NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Championship
The Minnesota State Mavericks celebrate with the trophy after beating the Nova Southeastern Sharks 88-85 during the NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Championship at the Ford Center on March 30, 2024 in Evansville, Indiana. Dylan Buell/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Just down the street at Pub 500, McKenzie Wallerus had a busy weekend working both games.

"We got really, really busy for the women's game. Packed at the bar," Wallerus said. "The whole restaurant filled up, and we were a little bit slower for the men's game, so it was kind of cool to see us fill up for a women's sport."

She's also a senior at MSU and can't believe this is the high her college years are ending on.

"It just feels really honored and cool to know that it's my school," Wallerus said.

You have a chance to meet the players and get their autographs. The university is hosting a welcome-back event on Monday at the Taylor Center at 4 p.m.

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