Photo-essay of Milwaukee basketball

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The neighboring city of Chicago to the north, Milwaukee, Wisconsin is home to two basketball programs. One, Marquette, plays in the Big East and is the third biggest spender on college basketball according to the 2008 figures, the other, Milwaukee, plays in the Horizon League. I've been up to Milwaukee a couple of times to watch Marquette games in the Bradley Center, but I'd never seen a Milwaukee game until yesterday when I went to see the Panthers take on Green Bay.

Before I was told to put away my camera I fired off a few frames. I wanted to share a short photo-essay after the break. (Being a fan can be tough. Why couldn't I take photos from my 200-level seat?) In case you didn't see the game, Milwaukee pulled out a pretty easy 71-51 victory over their in-state conference rivals thanks to cold shooting from the Phoenix and good efforts from James Eayrs, Ricky Franklin and Jerard Ajami.

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In terms of basketball in the city of Milwaukee the Panthers are third-class citizens. That's their arena in the photo, but advertisements for the NBA's Bucks and Marquette (which both play in the Bradley Center next door) dominate the landscape.

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Milwaukee enters their home court from a huge inflatable Panther. It's a fun little gimmick. You can also see the band and part of the student section. (Funny that this is U.S. Cellular Arena and Milwaukee is sponsored by Verizon Wireless.)

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This was the Horizon League Network game of the week. The intense rivalry has generated some exciting games in the past. This one had some physical play and a minor altercation in the first half, but it really settled down as Milwaukee took command during the second 20 minutes.

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The Panther Pit is a section behind one of the baskets where boosters can watch and relax during the game. Love the big graphics in the back and also the inflatable Panther. I wanted to take a photo with my Bally (#80) in its mouth, but I couldn't figure out a way to get down to the court level.

Overall the game was a really fun experience. The basketball was competitive and up where I was sitting there were fans of Milwaukee and Green Bay, which made it even more fun to watch. I was impressed by how educated both groups of fans were on their respective teams and their opponents.

If you get the chance to take the 1 hour, 45 minute drive up to Milwaukee I'd recommend you check out a game at both the Bradley Center and U.S. Cellular Arena. They offer different atmospheres, but both feel like college basketball.

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Tags: Horizon League, Milwaukee

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