The last of our automatic bids is well worth the wait.
Who? The Phoenix of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
When do they play in the first round? they play Princeton on Saturday, March 21 at 11 a.m. ET.
What? I don’t know if it’s better than Fighting Tomatoes, especially given that they’re Green Bay. Wouldn’t you want to root for the Killer Green Tomatoes? Phlash was the first D-I phoenix.
Where? Green Bay, Wisconsin, at the tip of the Fox River Valley.
Why? They won the Horizon League tournament.
How? It took five extra minutes and everything Green Bay had, but the Phoenix rose in overtime, 86-77 over Wright State. Tesha Buck had 24 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists to lead Green Bay. Tay’ler Mingo led all scorers with 27 for Wright State.
Surprise? Predicted to finish first in the conference, they won the regular season by three games over Wright State.
Record: 28-4 (15-1 Horizon)
Good wins: Arizona State at the Gulf Coast Showcase.
Bad losses: Oakland.
Who’s running this show? Kevin Borseth, since 2012, a very intense man.
Extra, Extra! The Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Green Bay is led by the 12.3 points and 5.0 rebounds of sophomore forward Mehryn Kraker. Sophomore guard Tesha Buck adds 11.1 points- but the strength of this Phoenix squad lies in the balance behind those two top scorers. Two minutes’ shortage for Ellen Edison is all that keeps Green Bay from having all ten of their active players average 10 minutes or more per game.
This is an unusually young Green Bay team- only two seniors and one junior, and much of the burden falls on the sophomores. It’ll be interesting to see how a traditional powerhouse like Green Bay plays in the tournament with young players.