Milwaukee earns NCAA berth with Horizon League title
Dayton, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Kyle Kelm scored 20 points, Jordan Aaron had 18 and Milwaukee held on to beat Wright State 69-63 on Tuesday to win the Horizon League Tournament.
Austin Arians added 12 points for the fifth-seeded Panthers (21-13), whose unexpected run through the tournament included an upset of top seed Green Bay in overtime Saturday in the semifinals.
The Panthers earned their fourth NCAA Tournament berth and first since 2006, when they lost in the second round while making their third appearance in four years.
They will represent the Horizon League after going just 7-9 in conference play in the regular season and will enter the tournament next week on a five-game winning streak.
AJ Pacher had 16 points to lead Wright State (20-14) and Matt Vest scored 11.
The third-seeded Raiders, who had a six-game winning streak snapped, made a game of it after trailing 43-33 at halftime and falling behind 60-48 on Aaron's 3-pointer with 11 minutes left.
Kelm's jumper with under four minutes to play was Milwaukee's only basket in the last eight minutes.
Wright State was within 67-63 when Aaron split a double team at the top of the key with seconds left on the shot clock and drew a foul in the lane. His free throws extended Milwaukee's lead to six points and the Raiders missed a couple of 3-point attempts down the stretch.
Aaron was named tournament MVP. Kelm, Pacher, Wright State's Miles Dixon and Milwaukee's Matt Tiby also made the all-tournament team.
Wright State's last NCAA Tournament appearance came in 2007 ... The Raiders, 10-6 in conference play in the regular season, beat second-seeded Cleveland State in Saturday's semifinals.