22-9 overall, 12-4 conference, 1st Horizon
Against the spread
14-12-2 (7-6 home, 6-5-2 away)
16-12 (8-5 home, 7-6 away)
2005 Season Summary
The Wisconsin Milwaukee Panthers were coming off their most successful season ever in 2004-05 as they finished 26-6 straight up and 19-9 against the spread as one of the most profitable teams in all of college basketball against the line.
Better yet, the Panthers closed as strong as they started and covered five of their final seven games as they made it through the “Sweet Sixteen” of the NCAA basketball tournament.
Changes on the Horizon
With that high level of success, however, the Panthers would begin so see changes on the horizon. Head coach Bruce Pearl became one of the hottest commodities in college hoops and departed for Tennessee. Key players graduated and, beyond all of that, the Panthers would no longer be a “surprise team” as their on court opponents, gamblers, and the oddsmakers were all aware of UW Milwaukee and this would cause an overall depletion in their board value.
The Panthers opened the season with a 52-79 loss at Memphis as 7.5-point dogs and followed that up with an unlined home win over Upper Iowa Peacocks. In their next game at Tennessee Tech as 4-point chalks, UW Milwaukee suffered a 67-72 loss for a pair of early slips against the pointspreads.
Just when you might have figured the Panthers to be in trouble, if not a potential free fall, they quickly pulled themselves together for a familiar look of a winner.
UW Milwaukee began with an unlined 76-51 blowout win at South Dakota State that was followed by a 58-52 win over Hawaii as 5.5-point chalks. Next was an 80-60 home win over Wisconsin Green Bay as 16.5-point chalks.
After an unlined 83-60 home win over Oakland, the Panthers traveled to Wyoming and scored an 84-69 win over the Cowboys as 2-point chalks. That was followed by a 78-74 win at Montana as 1.5-point dogs for their fifth consecutive payoff.
Just as UW Milwaukee looked as if they had picked up right where they left off at the end of 2004-05, the Panthers changed gears and revealed a near total loss of board value.
Their problems began with a 75-68 home win over Cleveland State as 21.5-point overlays, a clear sign that they had become over-valued. After a 68-45 blowout win at Illinois-Chicago, the Panthers began a free fall with a 64-59 home win over Butler as 6-point overlays.
The slump went into full force with a 78-75 win over Loyola-Chicago as 12-point home overlays. That was followed by a 77-84 loss at Wisconsin Green Bay as 10.5-point chalks. Next was a 72-71 win at Detroit as 5-point chalks and then a 61-54 win over Wright State as 13.5-point overlays. UW Milwaukee finally stopped the bleeding with a push in a 78-70 win at Youngstown State as 8-point chalks.
The Panthers got their first payoff in seven games with a 68-57 win at Loyola-Chicago as 3-point chalks. That was followed by a 54-59 loss at Wright State as 5-point chalks and then a 60-63 loss/push at Butler as 3-point dogs to close a string in which they got just one payoff in nine games against the spread.
UW Milwaukee's horrific stretch transformed them into bargain values as the masses quickly tired of losing money on a mid-major team. The Panthers won and covered three of their final five regular season games and went 2-0 both SU&ATS en route to the Horizon tourney championship. In “March Madness” the Panthers went 1-1 SU and 2-0 ATS as they upset Oklahoma before being eliminated by Florida.