Northern Iowa Panthers

Are part of the Missouri Valley Conference, were established in 1876, and their home arena is the McLeod Center, University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Northern Iowa Panthers

The Northern Iowa Panthers men’s basketball team, representing the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, stands as a remarkable symbol of resilience, talent, and unyielding team spirit within NCAA basketball. This distinguished program has carved out a unique niche in the competitive landscape of collegiate sports, marked by a rich history, a culture deeply embedded in passion and determination, and a series of impressive accomplishments on the court. Their journey through the echelons of NCAA basketball not only highlights their tenacious character but also reflects the spirit of the university and the community that supports them.

Intriguing Facts About the Northern Iowa Panthers

  • The Northern Iowa Panthers have a notable history of appearances in the NCAA Division I Tournament, having participated eight times. This showcases their consistent ability to compete at the highest collegiate levels.
  • One of their most significant achievements came in 2010 when the Panthers reached the Sweet Sixteen, a testament to their prowess and competitive spirit.
  • The team’s home, the McLeod Center, can host 7,018 spectators, creating a vibrant and intense atmosphere that is a nightmare for visiting teams and a fortress for the Panthers.
  • The era under Coach Ben Jacobson, who has been at the helm since 2006, is marked by unprecedented success, making him the winningest coach in the history of UNI Men’s basketball.
  • The Panthers’ international presence was highlighted in 2007 when they represented the United States at the World University Games in Bangkok, Thailand, showcasing their talents on a global stage.

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The Historical Tapestry of the Northern Iowa Panthers

From modest beginnings, the Northern Iowa Panthers basketball program has developed into a formidable force in NCAA Division I basketball. Their journey from the early days of competing in the NCAA Division II Tournament in the 1960s to being a respected competitor in Division I is a story of growth, development, and adaptation. The program’s evolution over the years mirrors the broader changes and developments within the sport of college basketball, reflecting shifts in playing styles, coaching strategies, and the increasing competitiveness of collegiate sports.

The Golden Era: The Ben Jacobson Epoch

Coach Ben Jacobson’s tenure has been a golden era for the Panthers, characterized by significant achievements and an enhanced national profile. The pinnacle of this era was undoubtedly the 2009-2010 season, where the team made a remarkable run to the Sweet Sixteen, including a stunning victory over the top-seeded Kansas, a game that remains etched in the memories of college basketball fans. Jacobson’s coaching philosophy, which emphasizes a balance between disciplined defense and opportunistic offense, has been crucial to the team’s success. His ability to develop raw talent into skilled players capable of competing at the highest levels has turned UNI into a respected program in the NCAA.

Legendary Figures in Northern Iowa Panthers History

The history of the Panthers is adorned with influential figures, with Coach Ben Jacobson leading the way with his record-breaking achievements and exceptional leadership. Players like A.J. Green, Ali Farokhmanesh, and Seth Tuttle have left indelible marks on the program with their outstanding performances and contributions. Notably, former player Nick Nurse went on to achieve great success in the professional ranks, coaching the Toronto Raptors to an NBA Championship in 2019.

A Game to Remember

The 2010 NCAA tournament game against Kansas is a landmark moment in the Panthers’ history. As underdogs, the Panthers triumphed over the top-seeded Jayhawks in a match filled with tension and excitement. This game is remembered not just for the victory but for Ali Farokhmanesh’s audacious three-pointer, a shot that symbolized the team’s courage and determination.

Northern Iowa Panthers [year] Schedule

Regular Season

Week Date Opponent Result
Week 1 Date: Tue 07/11/2023 Opponent: North Texas Mean Green Result: L 77-83
Week 2 Date: Tue 14/11/2023 Opponent: Loras Duhawks Result: W 90-50
Week 2 Date: Sun 19/11/2023 Opponent: South Florida Bulls Result: L 65-74
Week 3 Date: Wed 22/11/2023 Opponent: North Carolina Tar Heels Result: L 69-91
Week 3 Date: Thu 23/11/2023 Opponent: Texas Tech Red Raiders Result: L 70-72
Week 3 Date: Fri 24/11/2023 Opponent: Stanford Cardinal Result: W 73-51
Week 4 Date: Wed 29/11/2023 Opponent: Belmont Bruins Result: L 70-90
Week 4 Date: Sat 02/12/2023 Opponent: Evansville Purple Aces Result: L 89-91
Week 5 Date: Wed 06/12/2023 Opponent: Richmond Spiders Result: W 78-73
Week 5 Date: Sat 09/12/2023 Opponent: Toledo Rockets Result: L 80-84
Week 6 Date: Tue 12/12/2023 Opponent: Prairie View A&M Panthers Result: W 74-55
Week 6 Date: Sun 17/12/2023 Opponent: Alcorn St. Braves Result: W 100-82
Week 7 Date: Thu 21/12/2023 Opponent: Northern Illinois Huskies Result: W 76-63
Week 8 Date: BYE Opponent: BYE Result: BYE
Week 9 Date: Wed 03/01/2024 Opponent: Missouri St. Bears Result: W 64-62
Week 9 Date: Sun 07/01/2024 Opponent: Indiana St. Sycamores Result: L 66-77
Week 10 Date: Wed 10/01/2024 Opponent: Illinois-Chicago Flames Result: W 67-59
Week 10 Date: Sun 14/01/2024 Opponent: Murray St. Racers Result: W 70-60
Week 11 Date: Wed 17/01/2024 Opponent: Belmont Bruins Result: W 83-72
Week 11 Date: Sat 20/01/2024 Opponent: Southern Illinois Salukis Result: W 61-57
Week 12 Date: Tue 23/01/2024 Opponent: Evansville Purple Aces Result: W 70-63
Week 12 Date: Sat 27/01/2024 Opponent: Drake Bulldogs Result: L 63-77
Week 13 Date: Wed 31/01/2024 Opponent: Bradley Braves Result: L 69-85
Week 13 Date: Sat 03/02/2024 Opponent: Murray St. Racers Result: L 43-71
Week 14 Date: Wed 07/02/2024 Opponent: Missouri St. Bears Result: W 72-65
Week 14 Date: Sun 11/02/2024 Opponent: Illinois-Chicago Flames Result: L 65-71
Week 15 Date: Wed 14/02/2024 Opponent: Valparaiso Beacons Result: W 86-67
Week 15 Date: Sun 18/02/2024 Opponent: Bradley Braves Result: W 74-63
Week 16 Date: Wed 21/02/2024 Opponent: Illinois St. Redbirds Result: L 73-81
Week 16 Date: Sat 24/02/2024 Opponent: Drake Bulldogs Result: W 91-77
Week 17 Date: Tue 27/02/2024 Opponent: Valparaiso Beacons Result: W 68-54
Week 17 Date: Sun 03/03/2024 Opponent: Southern Illinois Salukis Result: W 82-70

Post Season

Week Date Opponent Result
Conf. Tournament Date: Fri 08/03/2024 Opponent: Belmont Bruins Result: W 67-62
Conf. Tournament Date: Sat 09/03/2024 Opponent: Indiana St. Sycamores Result: L 72-94

Home of the Northern Iowa Panthers: McLeod Center

The McLeod Center serves as more than just a venue for basketball games; it is a symbol of community pride and school spirit. The state-of-the-art facility offers a thrilling atmosphere for home games, giving the Panthers a significant home-court advantage. The history and significance of the arena resonate with every game played, making it a central part of the team’s identity and success.

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