2004 - The Broncos Basketball team win their first MAC championship

The 2004 season was a historic year for the Western Michigan men’s basketball team. The Broncos finished the regular season with a 26-4 overall record and a 15-1 record in the Mid-American Conference (MAC), earning them their first-ever MAC championship. As a result, they received an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, marking their first appearance in the tournament in school history.

Western Michigan was seeded 12th in the East region and faced the 5th-seeded Vanderbilt Commodores in the first round of the tournament. The game was played on March 19, 2004, at the Key Arena in Seattle, Washington. Despite a valiant effort, the Broncos were unable to upset the Commodores, and they ultimately lost by a score of 71-58. Despite the loss, the team’s appearance in the tournament was a major milestone for the program and the university as a whole.

The team was led by head coach Steve Hawkins and featured several talented players, including MAC Player of the Year Mike Williams, MAC Tournament MVP Ben Reed, and MAC All-Freshman team member Joe Reitz. The team’s success in 2004 helped put Western Michigan basketball on the map and paved the way for future success, including another MAC championship in 2014 and a second NCAA Tournament appearance in the same year, where they lost to Syracuse in the second round.