The UNI Panthers aren’t satisfied just to make the NCAA Tournament, they would like to advance to the second round. The Panthers are making their fifth appearance in the tournament in the last seven years and the four previous trips ended with five point losses in the opening round, including last season’s 61-56 loss to Purdue.
They hope to snap that streak on Thursday night when the meet UNLV in the first round of the Midwest regional in Oklahoma City. Junior guard Kwadzo Ahelegbe says they had the attitude after they won the conference tournament that they have some more things to do now. A victory over the Runnin’ Rebels would set up a likely meeting with top ranked Kansas in the second round. Senior forward Adam Koch says they are thinking about that just yet.
Koch says they have a tough game right away and you have to get past that one. good start would help. Last year against Purdue the Panthers fell behind early and senior guard Ali Farokhmanesh that experience will help them avoid a similar fate on Thursday. He says there are a lot of new people this year too, but he says getting a good start is important.
UNI is 28-4. UNLV is 25-8.