CLEVELAND _It was a big day for Kent State University at Gund Arena on Saturday.
First, the women's basketball team (20-10) earned the Mid-American Conference Tournament championship with a 73-59 victory over Ball State.
Then, the men's team (27-5) beat a stubborn Bowling Green, 70-59, to make MAC history. This is the first time both the women's and men's squads from the same school have won the tournament title in the same year.
Both squads earned berths in the upcoming NCAA tournaments. It's the third time in four years for the Kent State men and the second time in three years for the women.
The athletic department will host an NCAA Selection Show party today at the M.A.C. Center. The doors open at 4:30 p.m. with the women's show at 5 p.m. and the men's show at 6 p.m. Seeds and locations will be announced at that time.
A record crowd of 14,106 fans watched the excitement Saturday. Many wore the distinctive gold t-shirts that signified Kent State.
"I think the fan involvement and grass root involvement support for basketball means enormous things for the school in terms of visibility, in terms of support and the energy and excitement that builds identity and image for the university," said KSU vice-president Mark Lindemood.
When the game ended, hundreds of fans mobbed the floor to congratulate the players and coaches. Senior Trevor Huffman was named the MVP of the tournament as he led the Golden Flashes in scoring with 17 points. Fellow players Andrew Mitchell and Antonio Gates were also named to the All-Tournament Team.
But the happiest woman in at Gund Arena was coach Stan Heath's wife Romona.
"This means so much to us to win the first year," said Mrs. Heath. "It's going to be hard to top it. It's been a long season but I'd like to see it continue. I want to go to the 'Sweet 16' in the NCAA Tournament. I'm not complaining at all."