Thompson Square put a big end to Sugarland‘s rein as the Academy of Country Music’s Vocal Duo of the Year Saturday night (March 31), when they were presented with the trophy for this year’s award show one night early.

The announcement was made during the ACM’s Salute to the Military as part of the ACM Experience at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. Sin City is still counting down the hours until the live broadcast of the 47th Annual ACMs on Sunday (April 1).

Keifer and Shawna Thompson were beside themselves upon hearing the news — the husband and wife duo cried actual tears of joy. “It’s hard to talk when you’re crying,” Keifer joked, trying to gain his composure while embracing his wife on the stage.

“It’s very bittersweet,” Shawna added. “More sweet than bitter.”

The other country duos who were nominated in the Duo of the Year category included Love and Theft, Steel Magnolia and Montgomery Gentry. Congrats Keifer and Shawna … this is just the beginning!

Tune into the 2012 ACM Awards on Sunday night when it airs live on CBS at 8:00PM ET.