Record: (21-13, 7-9 Horizon)
RPI: 127 (.518)
BPI: 148 (54.0)
Conference: Horizon League
How They Qualified: Automatic Bid (won Horizon League Tournament)
The season started off strong for head coach Rob Jeter and the Milwaukee Panthers as they jumped out to a 9-2 record (one win against non-DI Judson University). A visit to the Kohl Center to take on Bo Ryan‘s then-No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers ended in a 26-point drubbing and the Panthers went into a bit of a slide, which included a 3-5 start to conference play.
A three-game surge lifted their Horizon record above .500 but a four-game slide dashed all hopes at a first round in the conference tournament. Their regular season ended with a 68-62 win at Detroit that spring-boarded them into the tournament as the number five seed.
The took down eighth-seeded Detroit and fourth-seeded Valparaiso to set up a matchup with top-seeded wrecking ball Green Bay, who came into the game as 12-point favorites. The Panthers scored the final four points of regulation to force overtime. They won 74-66 and were headed to the title game to take on third-seeded Wright State. Jeter’s Panthers stayed hot, jumped out to a 10-point halftime lead and never looked back en route to a 69-63 win and trip to the NCAA Tournament, their first since 2006.
What You Need to Know
Leading Scorer: Jordan Aaron – 14.9 ppg
Leading Rebounder: Mike Tiby – 6.6 rpg
Leading Passer: Steve McWhorter – 4.0 apg
Bad Losses: at Loyola (IL), Illinois-Chicago
Good Wins: Green Bay (twice), Northern Iowa, at Davidson
What to Expect
Milwaukee is in the tournament for the first time since 2006, but have been in postseason play the past two seasons (2011 NIT, 2012 CBI) so they won’t be totally out of their element. They’ll also enter the tournament on a five-game winning streak and are led on offense by a pair of seniors in Aaron and Kyle Kelm (12.4 ppg).
The Panthers led the league in three-point percentage defense (31.5 percent) while they’re not afraid to hoist it up themselves (730 3PT attempts), but if you’re expecting them to shoot it out with a top seed, don’t hold your breath, they shoot just 32.7 percent from deep.
Congratulations to the Milwaukee Panthers. They are going dancing in the NCAA Tournament!