State supremacy: Michigan can team up with Ferris to make hoops history

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Ferris State's bench erupts as the buzzer sounds in the Bulldogs' 71-69 win over Northern State in the NCAA Division II men's college basketball championship game on Saturday.

Chalk this one away to stump your suds-guzzling pals next time you're inclined to play some bar trivia.

Only one time has the same state won both the Division I and Division II men's basketball championships in the same year.

Michigan will try to become the second, as the Wolverines head to the Division I Final Four, after Ferris State won the Division II championship Saturday afternoon.

So which state did it? You'd think California would be a good guess, given UCLA’s glory days. But nope. North Carolina? Try again. Kentucky? Indiana? Kansas? No, no, no.

In fact, it actually was Ohio, of all states, way back in 1961.

That year, Cincinnati won its first of two consecutive Division I championships, while Wittenberg University, a private, liberal-arts school in Springfield, Ohio, took home the Division II crown.

The Division II tournament has been played since 1957, and Division I since 1939.

Ferris State (38-1), in beating Northern State (S.D.), 71-69, on Saturday, became the first team from Michigan to win the Division II championship.

Michigan (32-7) is two wins away from becoming the fourth from Michigan to win the Division I title, and first since Michigan State in 2000. Michigan won its lone championship in 1989, and Michigan State won its first of two in 1979.