The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's basketball team will honor its 2002-03 NCAA Tournament squad during Hall of Fame Night and Alumni Night Feb. 9 when the Panthers face Wright State.
The '02-'03 team was the first Milwaukee men's basketball team to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, earning the berth with a memorable league tournament title-game win over Butler at the U.S. Cellular Arena.
The day's events begin that morning with the annual Bud K. Haidet Milwaukee Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Milwaukee Athletic Club. This year's Hall of Fame class will be announced later this month.
Then, the annual men's basketball alumni game is set for 4 p.m. at the Klotsche Center, with a large number of former players expected to attend. Admission to that game is free.
The Panther men then face league rival Wright State at 7 that evening, with the players and coaches from that 2002-03 team recognized during halftime. A postgame reception is also planned and fans in attendance at the game will receive a commemorative poster.
The 2002-03 squad finished 24-8 and actually was second in the Horizon League regular season standings after a last-second loss at Butler on the final day of the regular season. But Milwaukee already had hosting rights for the league tournament, beating UIC and Butler in front of large crowds at the U.S. Cellular Arena to advance to the NCAA Tournament.
Bruce Pearl was the Horizon League Coach of the Year that season while Clay Tucker and Dylan Page each earned All-Horizon League recognition. Tucker was then named the league tournament most valuable player.
UWM's 1992-93 will also be recognized on Feb. 9. The team is still the only men's basketball squad in school history to beat Wisconsin and its 23 victories are third-most in the school's Division I history.