basketball-men-d1 flag | February 27, 2015

UNI-Wichita State the must-see matchup

Saturday's must-see matchup is a winner-take-all barnburner at Koch Arena in Wichita, Kansas. The UNI-Wichita State victor will be the top seed in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament March 5-8.

27-2, 16-1 MVC 26-3, 16-1 MVC
2 p.m. ET Saturday  ::  ESPN

Why watch? Northern Iowa is 14-32 against ranked teams since the start of the 1979-80 season. UNI’s only road win against a ranked opponent came in coach Ben Jacobson’s first year, when the Panthers topped No. 16 Wichita State on Dec. 30, 2006. ... Prior to the this season, any MVC team winning 16 or more league games captured the regular season title. However, this year both UNI and Wichita State enter the final regular season game with 16 conference wins. The previous mark for best win total by a second-place MVC team came in 2002-03, when Creighton was 15-3. The Bluejays settled for second place behind Southern Illinois (16-2). ... This is the third time in the past five years that Wichita State has played a winner-take-all final game for the MVC title; WSU lost 69-64 at Missouri State in 2011 and fell 91-79 at Creighton in 2013.

UNI's Seth TuttleUNI's Seth Tuttle
Statistically speaking: UNI is one of four teams -- including Gonzaga, Utah and SMU -- ranked in the top 25 of the NCAA statistics in both field goal percentage and field goal percentage defense. The Panthers rank No. 13 in field goal percentage (.485) and No. 22 in field goal percentage defense (.386). ... Wichita State is 147-27 since the start of the 2010-11 season, marking the highest winning percentage in Division I during that span (.845). ... UNI is allowing 50.9 points per game in MVC play, and conference foes are shooting 37.9 percent. ... The Shockers are 37-1 against MVC teams (including conference tournament games) during the past two seasons. ... UNI is the fifth-most improved road team in the nation; UNI went 3-10 last year and is 9-2 heading into Saturday’s game. ... Evansville (2012-13) and Missouri State (2010-11) are the only two MVC teams to have swept a regular season series from Wichita State during the past six seasons. ... The Panthers have allowed only four players to reach 20 points in a game this season -- none in MVC play. UNI has not allowed a 20-point scorer in its past 19 conference games, dating to last season. ... The Shockers are 54-8 at home against the MVC since the start of the 2008-09 season and have won 17 consecutive conference games at Koch Arena. ... UNI is off to its best start ever (27-2). The Panthers' best start prior to this season was 1963-64 (23-2). The program's previous best NCAA Division I start to a season was 2009-10 (22-2).

Series history: Northern Iowa leads the all-time series 26-24. Earlier this year -- in the first matchup of ranked MVC foes in 33 years -- UNI won 70-54 on Jan. 31. UNI used a 19-3 run in the first half to open up a 35-21 lead, and Seth Tuttle scored a career-high 29 points against the Shockers. However, three consecutive wins in Wichita have given the Shockers a 15-8 edge at Koch Arena.

Notebook: UNI is 23-9 when it is ranked in the Associated Press Top 25. ... Wichita State is 8-11 against nationally-ranked foes under Gregg Marshall. ... Northern Iowa's Seth Tuttle is one of three active DI players -- along with Iowa’s Aaron White and Radford’s Javonte Green -- with 1,600 points, 800 rebounds, shoot 50 percent or better from the field and have 20 3-pointers. Tuttle is the only active player with 1,600 points, 850 rebounds, and 250 assists. ... Wichita State's 31 consecutive home wins is the nation’s fourth-longest active streak behind NC Central (32), Arizona (34) and Gonzaga (40). The Shockers' streak is tied for the sixth-longest in MVC history with Southern Illinois (2001-03) and Oklahoma State (1936-40). ... ... ESPN's College GameDay will be live from campus from 10-11 a.m. ET on ESPNU and from 11-noon on ESPN. ... Mike Kennedy, now in his 35th year as "Voice of the Shockers," will work his 1,133rd consecutive game on the radio side.

No. 18 Arkansas
at No. 1 Kentucky
No. 20 West Virginia
at No. 19 Baylor
No. 7 Arizona
at No. 13 Utah
Brigham Young
at No. 3 Gonzaga
28-0 Cats = must-see TV.   BU eyes 10 B12 wins   Track meet in SLC?   Upset watch!
4 p.m. Sat. :: CBS   4 p.m. Sat. :: ESPNU   9 p.m. Sat. :: ESPN   10 p.m. Sat. :: ESPN2
Complete TV schedule

Information compiled from Northern Iowa and Wichita State team sites.

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