NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament return is UE’s eventual goal

Editor’s note: This is the third and final part of a series looking back on the Purple Aces’ 23-year NCAA tournament drought. You can read Part I and Part II.

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Marcus Wilson hasn’t set his alarm since June 1. He hasn’t needed to.

He wakes up every morning at 5:30 or 6 a.m., excited to get into work. Wilson knew he had the job as new University of Evansville men’s basketball coach David Ragland’s first assistant June 1 and was publicly announced two days later.

Since then, he hasn’t needed any extra motivation to get up and go to work. He just does it.

“I’m locked in,” Wilson said. “I’m serious about this.”

He wants to bring his alma mater back where he left it in 1999 — the NCAA Tournament. Wilson’s final game with the Purple Aces, a 95-74 loss to Kansas in the first round of the Big Dance, was the last time UE was in the tournament. Some close calls over the years followed, but the Aces never made it back.

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