Ben Jacobson

Ben Jacobson

Northern Iowa has posted a number of impressive wins this season but coach Ben Jacobson believes the Panthers need to win the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament to go dancing.

The fourth seeded Panthers take on five seed Southern Illinois on Friday afternoon in St. Louis.

“We have proven we can beat teams that are going to play in the NCAA Tournament”, said Jacobson. “But we had that two and a half week stretch where we were spinning our tires a little bit and so at the end of the days those would be the ones that will cost us.”

UNI is playing its best at the right time. The Panthers have won nine of their last 10 games.

“You still want to be playing how we are playing right now. Our guys are playing great right now and that is the best way to go into the tournament.”

Tip off Friday in the Scottrade Center is 2:30 p.m.

Elwin Huffman at KOEL contributed to this story