The Green Bay Phoenix are headed to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 20 years.
The Phoenix (23-12, 11-7 Horizon League) captured the Horizon League tournament title by knocking off regular season champion Valparaiso in the semifinals, followed by a victory over Wright State in the title game.
Green Bay has won eight of their last nine games and was handed the 14-seed in the West Region and will open up against third-seed Texas A & M in Oklahoma City on Friday night (6:20 on TBS).
“I thought for sure we’d be a 15,” coach Linc Darner said. “That’s kind of what I was thinking we were going to be today, so I’m a little bit surprised. But we’re happy.”
“A lot of excitement,” said Darner. “This is what you work for. This is why I coach, to get into the NCAA Tournament and see what we can do. I think this is excitement for the players. They’ve been close and they got over the hump this year.”
The Phoenix actually caught a sneak preview of the Aggies earlier in the day. Linc Darner put his team through a light workout earlier in the day, before they all sat down to watch the SEC championship game between Texas A & M and Kentucky.
Texas A & M (26-8, 13-5 SEC) had won eight straight games prior to Sunday’s overtime loss to Kentucky.
Friday’s game will be the second time the two schools will have met. The first was in 1996 when the Phoenix knocked off the Aggies, 60-49, in a game played in Milwaukee as part of the First Bank Classic.