UCM students ecstatic at NCAA win

A congratulatory sign graces a bar door a scant 24 hours after the University of Central Missouri won the NCAA Division II championship. Students say they were "in awe" of the win.

University of Central Missouri students told KRCG 13 Sunday that the school's NCAA title win was as exciting as it was surprising.

Daniel McCarty, a UCM student and Jefferson City native, said the team had lost a lot of seniors the previous year, so he did not expect a national title win at the start of the season, a sentiment echoed by other students. McCarty said he followed the team closely all season and was glued to the TV on Saturday when the Mules faced West Liberty for the championship.

"The whole time, I was just excited that our team was there," he said. When the Mules won, "I was in awe."

John Gerhards said the game's back-and -forth lead changes and late turnovers made every moment tense.

"We had a big lead at the end, so we went crazy," he said, laughing.

The University of Central Missouri Mules basketball team won the NCAA Division II Championship on Saturday, only the second such title in school history and the first since both the men's and women's teams won in 1984. The men's team had two prior NAIB championship wins in 1937 and 1938.

Katie Yager was working during the game, so she was only able to keep up via the Internet. She said the delayed online scoreboard kept her on edge the whole time. When UCM came out on top, she said it was all she could do to keep from screaming.

Yager, McCarty and others said they were not banking on a repeat next year, but they thought the Mules had a good shot at one.