BIG RAPIDS, Mich. (WZMQ) – A better story couldn’t have been scripted for the NMU Wildcats as they prepared to play in the GLIAC tournament championship on Sunday. The team had the chance to not only tie the school record for wins in a single season and bring home the GLIAC title, but take down Upper Peninsula rival Michigan Tech at the same time.
“It’s so many people who have put in the time and effort to get to this moment.” Said NMU head coach Matt Majkrzak.
The expectations for the game were high, but Majkrzak says winning was more exciting than he had planned for “It was better, I can’t think, of anything more validating or cooler.” He remarked.
This is the first time since the turn of the century that NMU has won the GLIAC championship in men’s basketball; Until recently, the program has struggled, posting 11 losing seasons in the past 15 years, but according to Majkrzak, this is the start to a new chapter in the program. When asked about what the win meant, Majkrzak said “I’m just so proud to restore Northern Michigan basketball to what it’s been, and it’s been an awesome program and this feels like we’re back.”
The tournament win secured the automatic bid into the ncaa tournament for the nmu team. They will travel to Indiana this Saturday to take on Hillsdale College, a team they played on earlier this year. The Cats lost that matchup, but Majkzrak says the loss gives his team valuable insight heading into the game “It helps that they beat us because we know how good they are.”
The NMU basketball team takes on Hillsdale Saturday night at 7:30.
Tickets for Saturdays game can be purchased here.
To watch the game tune in here.