The expectations for the University of Green Bay Men’s Basketball team are very high going into the Horizon League Tournament this weekend. They have gotten votes in the AP poll recently and are expected to win the leagues tourney this year. But hold on just one second, as the 4 other teams left in the tourney are all extremely good teams. In fact the team that the Phoenix play next will have beaten them already this year (Valparaiso and Milwaukee.)
Milwaukee is the team that the Phoenix have to be most worried about. The Panthers beat the Phoenix by 10 in Green Bay! When the Phoenix went to Milwaukee, it took them overtime to pull out the victory. Jordan Arron of the Panthers is averaging 28 points per game against the Phoenix in two games this year.
Valparaiso on the other hand gave the Phoenix their first conference loss of the year and beat the Phoenix quite handily, by 15 points. However when the game was played in Green Bay, the Phoenix were able to beat Valpo 67-53.
Another potential match-up for the Phoenix would be Cleveland State, who boasts a 12-4 conference record, good for second in the Horizon. Cleveland State is a young but long and athletic team. Gary Waters, their head coach, is very confident in his teams chances of taking the tournament from Green Bay. During his press conference he somewhat questioned the Phoenix’s hunger and drive to win, by saying, “I’m not sure how hungry they are.” Which he repeatedly did in his 18 minutes at the podium.
Though the road to the championship will be tough for the Phoenix, they boast the most talented team in the conference, with Horizon League Player of the Year Keifer Sykes, Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year Alec Brown, and home court advantage throughout the tournament the Phoenix have it set to be a championship run for themselves.