The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay men's basketball team accepted a bid to the second annual College Basketball Invitational late Sunday, joining NCAA Tournament participants Cleveland State University and Butler University as Horizon League teams in national postseason tournaments.
Green Bay (22-10) will play host to the University of Vermont (23-8) on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET at the Resch Center in the West Regional of the CBI. The winner will play the University of Houston at Oregon State University winner next Monday in the second round.
The Phoenix will be making its first postseason appearance since 1996 when they lost to Virginia Tech 61-48 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Green Bay also advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 1995, falling to Purdue University 49-48 in first-round action after winning the Horizon League championship in its first season in the conference.
This season's CBI invitation marks the seventh time in Green Bay's Division I history that the Phoenix has advanced to the postseason. Previously, Green Bay made NCAA Tournament appearances four times (1991, 1994, 1995, 1996) and played in the National Invitation Tournament twice (1990, 1992).
In the inaugural CBI a year ago, Horizon League member Valparaiso University defeated the University of Washington 72-71 in Seattle in the first round before being eliminated 91-67 at the University of Houston.
Green Bay placed second in the Horizon League standings with a 13-5 record to nationally ranked Butler and had a chance to tie for the regular-season title entering the season's final day.
The Phoenix lost to eventual League champion Cleveland State 73-67 on March 7 in the semifinals of the Speedway Horizon League Championship.
With a 22-10 overall record, Green Bay reached 20 wins for the first time since the 1998-99 season.
Green Bay is led by 6-foot-8 senior guard Ryan Tillema, a first-team All-League pick and its Sixth Man of the Year, who averages a League-leading 17.5 points per game. Sophomore guard Rahmon Fletcher (10.6 ppg, 4.3 apg) was named to the All-League Second Team.
In his seventh season at Green Bay, head coach Tod Kowalczyk owns a 114-98 career record. He reached the 100-win mark with a victory at Houston Baptist University on Dec. 22.
The Horizon League boasts three teams in national postseason tournaments for the second straight year and third time since 2003.
Green Bay is ranked 71st in the RPI according to this week's rpiratings.com and is one of four League teams among the top 100 along with Butler (24th), Cleveland State (52nd) and Wright State (93rd).
With three wins, the Phoenix would reach the finals of the CBI, which features a unique best-of-three championship format.
Tags: Green Bay - Men's Basketball