Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Opponents That Are NCAA Tourney Bound

With the win by Cleveland State over Butler in Tuesday night's Horizon League Championship game, the league will have two teams in the NCAA Tournament this season. Everyone seems to agree Butler is a lock for an at-large bid, while CSU will get the automatic bid.

What that also does is give the Panthers two more games this past year against an NCAA Tournament team, as well as put two more games on the schedule this coming season against an NCAA Tournament foe. That number also went up a little more when North Dakota State survived a sluggish first 35 minutes to pull out a win over Oakland in the Summit League championship game.

So, in all, UWM played seven games this season against NCAA Tourmament teams - assuming Marquette, Wisconsin and Butler all get bids as expected. The Panthers went 2-5 in those games, with wins over Butler and Cleveland State. Milwaukee will have those same seven games on the slate next season. Three will be road games during the non-league campaign, with trips to Wisconsin, Marquette and North Dakota State on the agenda. Plus, with the Panthers slated for the NIT Season Tip-Off, there is a good chance at least one more game against an NCAA qualifier will be added to the list.

A few more Panther opponent can still qualify for the NCAA Tournament, as Miami (Ohio) and Ball State both begin play in the MAC Tournament Thursday night while UC Davis starts play in the Big West Tourney tonight.