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Emotional Triumph for Green Bay Women’s Team and Coach in March Madness

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This year’s Green Bay Phoenix women’s basketball team superbly embodied the spirit of the NCAA Tournament, which is a place where emotions can run wild. Resurgent into March Madness after a five-year hiatus, the Phoenix’s journey produced not only victory but also a potent demonstration of camaraderie and shared adversity.

Emotional Triumph for Green Bay Women’s Team and Coach in March Madness - THE SPORTS ROOM

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Green Bay has a long history of women’s basketball success, having made 18 NCAA Tournament trips. However, the last five years have been difficult. The squad was unable to secure a position in the big dance, leaving players, coaches, and fans hoping for a return to glory.

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Green Bay Women Snap Drought, Tears Flow as Program Returns to March Madness Glory

Tears started streaming down the cheeks of coach Kevin Borseth’s wife and daughter even before they welled up in his own eyes and eventually those of his Green Bay players. Finally, after snapping a five-year NCAA Tournament drought by winning the Horizon League postseason title, the emotions came pouring out.

By Sunday’s selection show, Green Bay’s players were hooting and hollering for television cameras with a message from their tradition-rich program to the rest of the college basketball world. The Phoenix are back, and they’re rising again.

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Emotional Triumph for Green Bay Women’s Team and Coach in March Madness - THE SPORTS ROOM

This year’s Horizon League Tournament championship game altered everything. Green Bay faced Cleveland State and dominated, winning 64-40. The victory wasn’t simply about the final score; it was the result of years of hard work and dedication.

“He (Borseth) has won it several times, but I saw him crying before the game,” said guard Cassie Schiltz, her voice starting to crack. “To be able to do this with him, it means so much. He cares about us as players, but he cares about us as people, and he values family. So to do it all together with our families, it’s just awesome.”

By the time Schiltz finished, Borseth and tourney MVP Natalie McNeal were wiping their eyes, too. Perhaps no Green Bay player understood the full significance of what last week’s 64-40 victory meant better than Schiltz, who grew up in the 2,500-person enclave of Luxemburg, Wisconsin, 17 miles east of Green Bay.

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