Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking Back On A Great Decade

The decade of the 2000's was a great time to be a fan of Panther men's basketball.

Over the next six weeks or so, I'll take a look back at some of the great moments of the last 10 years. Some of the best moments are obvious, with a Sweet 16 appearance in 2005 and a trip to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2006 no doubt topping the list.

But there are a lot of other great moments that have marked the last decade of Panther basketball. There have been some not-so-great moments, too, and at some point I will recount some of those, also. This Indiana trip to Butler and Valpo brings up some of those thoughts ... do you remember the Sweet 16 team lost to a winless Valpo team here in December of 2004?

But let me start with some numbers and notes ... things I'll be including in the game notes on Saturday.

Record In This Decade … (Jan. 1, 2000-Dec. 31, 2009)
180-124 overall entering Thursday
103-59 in league play entering Thursday
UWM and Butler are the only two league schools with 100 or more league wins in the 2000's

Notable Accomplishments In This Decade
- Three regular season league titles
- Three league tournament titles
- Three NCAA Tournaments
- NIT appearance
- Four postseason wins (three NCAA, one NIT)
- Four 20-win seasons

Now compare that to the decade of the 1990s (Jan. 1, 1990-Dec. 31, 1999)
108-149 overall
25-68 in league play (not always in a league)

In short, UWM has taken amazing strides in men's basketball in the last 10 years. Those accomplishments listed above were almost all firsts, and you can add the Panthers' first (of many) national TV appearances to that list, as well.

So, it will be fun to look back at some of the great highlights from the last 10 years, while thinking ahead to what we have to look forward to over the next 10 years.