The in-state basketball series opens tonight in the UNI-Dome as Northern Iowa hosts Iowa in the 32nd meeting in the series. The Hawkeyes are 6-2 and ranked after winning their own tournament but coach Steve Alford says having come from Southwest Missouri State, he knows how the Panthers will approach this game. He says he doesn’t like playing Valley teams because they come at the bigger conference schools very hard.Alford says defending U-N-I begins with the Panther guards.Alford says U-N-I guard Robbie Sieverding is dangerous from the perimeter but also finds ways to get to the foul line.Alford says the in-state games always have added emotion and he says it’s great for basketball in Iowa. The Panthers are 4-2 and first-year coach Greg McDermott says his team has little room for error and says they’ll have to shoot well and take care of the basketball.McDermott says the Panthers must control the tempo and will need to overcome a size disadvantage by blocking out hard on rebounds.
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