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“Puts Milwaukee on the map:” 2 teams, 1 city — vying to be part of the Big Dance

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MILWAUKEE — Feeling the fever! Folks are hopeful TWO Milwaukee teams will make it into the NCAA Tournament. But first, the Marquette University Golden Eagles and UW-Milwaukee Panthers will have to pull out wins on Tuesday night, March 7th.

“I’m so excited,” said McKayla Yentz, senior shooting forward for Marquette University.

McKayla Yentz

A victory against DePaul Tuesday night could solidify a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

“A year ago today, when we lost in the first round of the Big East Tournament, we had high goals and we kept those in mind every single day in the off season,” said Yentz.

Yentz said determination and focus are key.

“As long as we play together and play with the energy and confidence, we will be good,” Yentz said.

Fans are just as eager for a win.

“We want to put on a show for them. We are excited,” said Yentz.

Players said they’re fired up that spectators have been experiencing the true nature of the game.

“Any team on any given night can win and beat a good team,” said Yentz.

That’s something that the UW-Milwaukee Panthers men’s basketball team also know very well.

“It’s so cool they made it this far and are doing that good,” said Kaitie Krause, UWM sophomore.

It’s been a rough season for the Panthers, but the underdogs were on a winning streak in the Horizon League Tournament.

“I think it’s really cool to be like, the first team to ever be a No. 10 seed and win the conference tournament and be playing a championship game,” said Nick Comella, UWM senior.

UWM faces off against Northern Kentucky on Friday, March 10th.

“To see them turn it around, it’s neat and super exciting and hopefully they make it to the NCAA Tournament,” said Krause.

Two teams from one city, vying to be part of the Big Dance.

“I definitely think it puts Milwaukee on the map,” said Comella.

“Everyone is going to be, ‘this is awesome,'” said Ana Portz, UWM freshman.

There’s a watch party Tuesday on UWM’s campus, and a bus load of students traveled to support the team in person.

Tip off is set for 8:00 p.m. at the Al McGuire Center as MU faces off with DePaul.