“Proud of you guys!” Party on UWM campus during Horizon League Championship game, despite loss

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MILWAUKEE -- The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers men's basketball team lost to N. Kentucky in the Horizon League Tournament Championship game Tuesday, March 7th.

The final score: 59-53.

There were a lot of sad faces at the UWM Gasthaus after a heck of a game. Many students on campus said they are just proud of their team for rebounding after a rough season.

"I see them practicing every day at the center when I'm there for track practice. They're putting the work in. They're improving," Brady Traeder, UWM freshman said.

The UWM Student Union was packed Tuesday night, March 7th for the second night in a row, as students cheered for the UWM Panthers men's basketball team.

"It's the unexpected Cinderella story that makes March mad!" Jenny Gryniewicz, UWM Athletics development director said.

While the team, coaches and managers were in Detroit for the finals, Gryniewicz was trying to bring some pep to campus after a season filled with more than 20 losses.

Tuesday's loss stung even more.

"And then there's the fact that a No. 10 seed has never made it to the tournament. I don't know if we wanted to be a No. 10 seed, but if we have to make history, we'll do it that way," Gryniewicz said.

A bus filled with 50 lucky fans left Tuesday morning so students could see the game in person.

Rachel Westphal, a freshman at UWM said she's seen the whole campus really rally around a team that started at the bottom.

"Just a cool first-year experience. Watching the games from the beginning of the season, you can really tell they've been working as a team better. I'm really proud of you guys!," Westphal said.

Organizers said the crowd at the UWM Student Union swelled to nearly 250 students -- 100 more than the crowd from Monday night.

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