When the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay men's basketball team tips off the season Wednesday, one of their toughest challenges will come from the stands. The Phoenix open in West Lafayette, Indiana at Purdue University at 6 PM. In 2018-19, Purdue was undefeated at home and the Boilermakers set an attendance record. Purdue averaged 14,467 fans, filling Mackey Arena to 98 percent of capacity on the season.
Mackey Arena is 50 years old, no frills, and compact. It gets loud there. ESPN has ranked it as the fourth-best home court advantage in the country in recent years and the most hostile environment in the Big Ten Conference. Drawing those conditions for the season opener is understandably tough for UWGB. How the Phoenix react, whether they can keep their poise, may determine if they can spring the upset.