The UWM men's team defeated Wright State 69-63 Tuesday night, to advance to the NCAA tournament next week and shine a spotlight on the university.
The Panthers won the Horizon League tournament championship with their victory in Ohio, giving them an automatic spot in the 'big dance.' UWM leaders say inclusion in the annual NCAA tournament can generate new interest in the school.
Tom Luljak, vice chancellor of University Relations at UWM remembers when the Panthers beat Boston College during the first round of the NCAA tournament, more than a half-dozen years ago.
"When that happened, we saw enormous interest both in the athletic program, but, maybe even more importantly, in the entire university. We saw applications to the university go up. We saw students from all over the country begin to suddenly get UW-Milwaukee on their radar screen as they were thinking about potential schools that they might attend. The attention that comes with being on ESPN and, ultimately, headed into the tournament, is something that you simply cannot buy," Luljak says.
Late Sunday, the Panthers will learn where they'll play their next game and against which team.