The fifth-seeded Northern Iowa Panthers take on the 12th-seeded Wyoming Cowboys today in the NCAA Tournament Second Round. The game is scheduled for a 1:40 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on TBS. Currently the College Basketball Betting Odds for the game have the Panthers favored by a couple of buckets to pick up the win.
Wyoming knocked off San Diego State in the Mountain West title game this weekend, earning an automatic bid and continuing their season. The Cowboys have had a nice season, but earning the auto bid and making it to the Field of 64 certainly had to be an accomplishment to be proud of for Wyoming. The reward for winning, though, is a date against a tough Northern Iowa club that might be better than their seed.
The Panthers have already stockpiled 30 wins on the campaign and come in as one of the more complete teams in the country. UNI ranks 13th nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency, scoring 114 points per 100 possessions this season. The defense has been great as well, ranking 18th nationally in adjusted efficiency.
And while the Panthers do not play an up-tempo style of basketball, they have been able to make it work. A loss on Feb. 28 at Wichita State is only the second of the calendar year for the Panthers, who also got beat on Jan. 1 at Evansville.
Wyoming isn’t great on either offense or defense and much like UNI they play a very slow game.
This could be a game played in the 50s, which would probably be comfortable for both teams. Each team has a very excellent player as the Cowboys sport Larry Nance Jr. while Northern Iowa has Seth Tuttle. Both big men can knock down shots, rebound the ball and will be important tonight.
Every year the 5/12 upsets happen, but so both 12s have lost already as Stephen F. Austin and Wofford were close, but couldn’t pull off upsets. Could this be the potential trap game for the fifth seed? It’s unlikely as UNI plays a very solid style of game all-around.
Free Pick: Northern Iowa 59, Wyoming 52
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