How Far Will UNI Go In The Tournament?
Selection Sunday is this next weekend, but fans of the Panthers won't have to stress, because UNI is guaranteed to be in the brackets. But where?
After extensive research by your friendly neighborhood sports fanatic/degenerate gambler, it's been determined that you should hope the University Of Northern Iowa mens' basketball team is seeded 11th or 12th in whatever regional they are placed in.
This is still a good basketball team. They're not the 31-4 team they were last year, but they aren't as "bad" as their current 22-12 record indicates either. (22-12 is a "bad" record for a team in the NCAA basketball tournament. If UNI hadn't won the conference tournament they seriously may not have gotten in.)
This is a team that beat the #1 team in the country. They beat Iowa State, who were ranked #5 in the country at the time.
They had a stretch where they lost a lot of conference games, but do not discount teams going into the tournament on a hot streak. UNI has won 12 of their last 13 games going into the tournament.
I can tell you as an expert of such things, the committee that will select the teams and seed them will punish UNI for having 12 losses with a lower seed, but will keep them out of the humiliating play-in games on Tuesday that technically are part of the tournament but really aren't.
They will be an 11 or 12 seed, which means they will play either a 5 or 6 seed, which means they will play an overrated middle-of-the-pack team from a major conference. This year that will probably be a Pac-12 team because that conference is going to have a lot of teams in the tournament. UNI will beat California or Colorado in the first round.
They will then more than likely play a 3 or 4 seed in the second round. Maybe a West Virginia from the Big 12, but probably a Maryland or Indiana from the Big 10. UNI will not win this game, but there is no shame in that because the Big 10 is awesome.
Still a year to be proud of for Panther Nation.