Skip to main content

Minnesota boasts the No. 1- and No. 5-ranked D2 college teams in the country

The Mavericks and Dragons meet Jan. 27 in Mankato.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

They don't get nearly as much attention because they play at the Division II level, but Minnesota State University-Mankato's men's basketball team is ranked No. 1 in the country and boasts a perfect 16-0 record. 

Mankato is the new, unanimous No. 1 team in this week's NABC Coaches Poll, receiving all 16 first-place votes. It's their first time at No. 1 in the country since 2005. Coming in at No. 5 after dropping out of the No. 1 spot is Minnesota State University-Moorhead. 

MSU-Moorhead lost 70-68 for the first time this season on Jan. 13 against the University of Sioux Falls. The Dragons were No. 1 and Mankato was No. 2 in last week's poll. 

The Mavericks have only played four games where the outcome wasn't decided by more than ten points, though there's a strong likelihood it'll be a close game when Mankato and Moorhead meet for the first time Jan. 27 in Mankato. 

  • Dec. 2 vs. Southwest Minnesota State: 92-89
  • Dec. 16 vs. Concordia-St. Paul: 88-80
  • Dec. 19 vs. Minnesota Duluth: 100-96 in overtime
  • Jan. 12 at Bemidji State: 94-92 in overtime

How good the 2023-24 Mavericks are is yet to be determined, but they appear to have a shot to be the best Mankato team since the 2010-11 team went to the NCAA Final Four and lost to eventual champion Bellarmine in the national semifinals. 

The same goes for Moorhead as the Dragons are hoping for their best outcome since reaching the 2014-15 Elite Eight, where they also had their season end at the hands of Bellarmine.

At the end of the day, two of the best Division II teams in the nation are right here in Minnesota, which deserves more attention as they pile up wins with March Madness nearing. 

MSU-Mankato leading scorer Malik Willingham

MSU-Mankato leading scorer Malik Willingham