UWM Basketball fans hopeful for NCAA Tourney bid despite woeful season

"You always got to believe I guess"
Posted at 6:36 PM, Mar 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-07 19:36:17-05

The UW-Milwaukee Men's Basketball team could set a dubious record Tuesday night, as a win gives them the Horizon League Championship and a trip to the NCAA tournament.

If they win, the Panthers would set a record for most losses by a team getting into the big dance.

The Panthers were a woeful 8-23 in the regular season. After losing nine games in a row in February, UWM has won three in a row in the Horizon League Tournament. 

Students loaded buses en route to Detroit and the UWM campus was buzzing Tuesday ahead of the championship game. Panther pride was on display for the most unexpected reason.

"I thought we were going to be one and done," said student Evan Heffelfinger. "You always got to believe I guess."

After a rough regular season, the Panthers were seeded last in the conference tournament. Yet the unthinkable happened, UWM became the first 10 seed to ever advance to the Horizon League championship.

"A lot of shock, it's kind of like ‘wow we actually did it,’" said student Francisco Carranza.

Even head coach LaVall Jordan admits this could be the beginning of the biggest “Cinderella story” in March Madness history.

"It probably is definitely that,” he said. “We're still 11-23."

With a trip to the NCAA Tournament on the line, fans hope their team keeps the momentum against Northern Kentucky.

"Hopefully we get a victory because that means only six more wins until they're NCAA champs," Heffelfinger said.


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