MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The UW-Milwaukee Panthers are headed for the NCAA Tournament! On Selection Sunday, March 16th, the Panthers learned they are a 15 seed, and will play in Buffalo, New York on Thursday, March 20th in the second round, vs. #2 Villanova.
The UWM Panthers are in the Big Dance after beating Wright State last Tuesday night, March 11th 69-63.
There was a roar of excitement on the UW-Milwaukee campus on Sunday as the team, its staff and fans learned where and when the Panthers will be playing as the tournament gets underway.
The Panthers started the season ranked last in its league. Last Tuesday, they seized the Horizon League Championship.
Jordan Aaron is the Panthers senior guard. Ever since the team's win over Wright State, he's had the game net wrapped around his neck -- and it was still there on Sunday.
Thursday's game in Buffalo will take Aaron back to his home state.
"I know my family definitely will be there to see us play and this is amazing. This is an amazing feeling right now," Aaron said.
For players with Wisconsin roots, Sunday was a chance to celebrate their tournament berth with their families. Freshman guard Cody Wichmann's mother drove in from Pulaski to watch a dream he's had since he was a kid come true.
"She’s my biggest support system and she’s always there for me," Cody Wichmann said.
"They’re out in the driveway playing and pretending they’re whoever and they’re having a good time and pretending they’re in the NCAA and then, there they are," Mary Wichmann said.
UWM sophomore forward Austin Arians' biggest fan may be his younger brother.
"Watching him in high school, being kind of standing out and it’s so unreal," Arians' brother said.
Quinton Gustavson's family drove in from Racine, and will fly to New York to watch the game vs. Villanova.
"It's his dream, and it finally came true," Patty Gustavson said.