Northern Iowa Panthers Basketball Conference
Cedar Falls, Iowa is home to the University of Northern Iowa, a school
known for its athletic prowess in team sports such as men's basketball. The Northern Iowa Panthers are a top team in the competitive
Missouri Valley Conference, a conference known for its Midwest powerhouse teams. The MVC is one of the oldest conferences
in college basketball, and teams from Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa and Kansas comprise the tough-as-nails competition
in the Valley.
The Northern Iowa Panthers joined the MVC in 1991, as part of a shakeup that saw a few teams coming to
the conference in the '90s. Today, the Missouri Valley Conference is comprised of several fierce teams, including the Drake
Bulldogs, Bradley Braves, Evansville Purple Aces and Indiana State Sycamores. The Panthers have taken home several Missouri
Valley Conference tournament titles, including championships in 2004 as well as back-to-back wins in 2009 and 2010. Creighton
was the team to beat in the MVC until 2013, when the Bluejays jumped ship to the Big East Conference. The MVC is wide open
now and looking for a new king of the conference, and you better believe the Northern Iowa Panthers are already out to dominate.
Northern Iowa Panthers Basketball Tournament History
The Northern Iowa Panthers basketball team was a big player
in the NCAA Division II Tournament in the '60s and '70s, honing their craft as they cut their teeth on some solid basketball
action in DII. The Panthers celebrated a Final Four finish in the 1964 NCAA Division II Tournament, and thereafter have made
several more appearances in the NCAA Division I Tournament. The Panthers were last part of the Big Dance in 2010, when they
reached the Sweet 16 by defeating the No. 8 ranked UNLV and No. 1 Kansas, making a name for Northern Iowa with some big upsets.
Northern Iowa has also been a big force in the NIT and CIT Tournaments, making a second round appearance in the NIT Tournament
in 2012 while also reaching the quarterfinals in the CIT Tournament in 2011 and reaching the semifinals in the CIT in 2013.
The Panthers are looking for anther postseason berth this year, and they have a good shot with the Creighton Bluejays now
out of the mix for the Missouri Valley Conference. Who will take the reigns as the top MVC team this season? Look for the
Northern Iowa Panthers to step up to the plate -- err, free throw line.
Northern Iowa Panthers Basketball Coaches
Northern Iowa Panthers have seen tons of coaches through the ranks of the basketball program since the team's beginnings in
1901, and most incredibly, there have been periods of time in the Panthers tenure that the team has had no coach at all. In
1901-02, for example, the Panthers had an absence of coach and pulled a 1-3 record, as well as in 1918, when the team went
5-5 for the season. Some of the more notable coaches for the Panthers are James Berry (1975-86), Eldon Miller (1987-88), Greg
McDermott (2002-06) and Ben Jacobson, who has been the head coach of the Panthers since the 2007 season. Before accepting
the head coach position, Jacobson served as assistant coach to McDermott, taking over in '07 as head coach. Jacobson has been
one of the winningest coaches in Northern Iowa history, seeing the Panthers into three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances
from 2004-2006 and again in 2009 and especially in 2010, when the team made it to the Sweet Sixteen. Jacobson was named Missouri
Valley Conference Coach of the Year in back-to-back years in 2009 and 2010, and he continues to thrive in Northern Iowa's
Northern Iowa Panthers Basketball Trivia
The purple and gold Northern Iowa Panthers
basketball team is a top athletic team for the Panthers, and if you ask anyone on the UNI campus what The MC stands for, students
will undoubtedly point you to the McLeod Center, where the Panthers hoopsters play home games during basketball season. the
McLeod Center is a hub for Northern Iowa sporting teams, also serving as the home arena for the Panthers women's basketball,
women's volleyball, and wrestling teams. The McLeod Center has been hosting basketball action on campus since its opening
in 2006, when the arena replaced the UNI-Dome as home to Panthers hoops. There is all kinds of excitement for students to
be part of at the McLeod Center when basketball isn't in session, even. Performances from big-name artists like Bob Dylan
and Luke Bryan have occurred at the venue, and the McLeod Center even became the first building in Iowa to host the Dalai
Lama when he visited the campus in 2010. Still, basketball reigns supreme at the McLeod Center on the Northern Iowa campus,
and you can expect to see the 6,650 seats at the arena packed full of basketball fans wearing the purple and gold of the Panthers
at home games, especially when the Panthers are taking on top MVC rivals on home turf.