Northern Iowa softball coach Ryan Jacobs is concerned the Panther’s NCAA bubble may burst if they don’t win the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in Springfield, Missouri. UNI is 31-13 after winning the Valley regular season title. The season included a school record 16 game winning streak.
“We are kind of sitting there on the back side of the bubble”, said Jacobs. ” We have an outside shot but we are not in a position where we need to start planning anything.”
UNI earned its first ever at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament a year ago and won a game in a regional at Missouri. Jacobs says there is more competition for the at-large spots this season. The Big Ten played a full nonconference schedule and will have more teams in contention.
“But, we still have a great opportunity in front of us which would ensure us an automatic bid.”
The Panthers have a bye into Friday’s semifinal round and must wait to find out who their opponent will be.