Green Bay men’s basketball ‘Big Dance’ facts

1996 NCAA Tournament Team First round Seated (left ot right): Gary Grzesk, Mike Nabena, Jeff Nordgaard, Pete Wade, Matt Hill, Todd Hassenfelt, James Daggs, Jason Collien. Standing (left to right): Luke Kiss, Ryan Borowicz, Gabe Stevens, Tom Anderson, Rico Rondorfo, Kevin Olm, Ben Berlowski, Eric Jackson.

1996 NCAA Tournament Team First round
Seated (left ot right): Gary Grzesk, Mike Nabena, Jeff Nordgaard, Pete Wade, Matt Hill, Todd Hassenfelt, James Daggs, Jason Collien. Standing (left to right): Luke Kiss, Ryan Borowicz, Gabe, Stevens, Tom Anderson, Rico Rondorfo, Kevin Olm, Ben Berlowski, Eric Jackson.

 

The Green Bay Phoenix Men’s basketball team celebrates Tuesday night’s (March 8) Horizon League Championship and subsequent automatic bid to the 2016 NCAA Tournament.

The last time the Green Bay men were in the NCAA Tournament was the 1995-96 season. The season included a close early season loss to eventual national champion Kentucky, and a 23-0 winning streak during the course of the year. The Phoenix entered the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (MCC) Tournament with an unblemished 16-0 conference record. However, the senior-laden team (Jeff Nordgaard, Gary Grzesk, Ben Berlowski, Eric Jackson) coached by Mike Heidemann, suffered an upset by Detroit in the MCC championship game. Despite the loss, the Phoenix received an at large bid as a No. 8 seed — the highest seeding in its four trips to the tournament, to date. The spectacular season ended with a loss to No. 9 Virginia Tech, 61-48.