Team: Green Bay Phoenix
Conference: Horizon League
Coach: Linc Darner
Record: 23-12 overall, 11-7 in conference
KenPom Rank: 117
Good wins: over Akron at home, over Valparaiso in the conference tournament.
Impact Players: Carrington Love averages just under 18 points per game, drawing fouls and hitting outside shots. Curiously, his ratio of two-point attempts to three-point attempts are even (239 to 241) and is only a little higher than the number of free throws he has attempted (215) this season. His arms must hurt.
How did they get in?: In his first year after a great career on the D-II level, Linc Darner has continued Green Bay's excellence on the court after Brian Wardle left to coach lowly Bradley. The Phoenix play fast and have won eight of their last ten - losing only to Oakland and Valparaiso, two of the best teams in the Horizon League. They won the conference tournament after knocking off Valpo, who had a real shot at an at-large bid
How far can this team go in the NCAA Tournament?: A 14-seed, they face Texas A&M, a squad that loves to keep the pace under control. Despite the Phoenix's experience, I wouldn't hold my breath for a deep run, but I wouldn't be surprised to see them upset the Aggies.
Last time in the NCAA Tournament: 1996, as coach Mike Heideman took them to an AP ranking but a first round loss. Heideman was in his first year, taking over for Dick Bennett, who had moved on to Wisconsin and then Washington State, when he then handed the reins to his son, former Green Bay player Tony Bennett... who then moved on to Virginia, where he is one of the nation's best coaches. It all connects.