Six teams that qualified for postseason play last season highlight the 2008-09 University of Northern Iowa mens basketball schedule, the athletic department announced today. The Panthers will play at least 11 games against teams that made 2008 postseason play, with nearly half of them at the McLeod Center.
Weve put together a very competitive schedule, said UNI head coach Ben Jacobson. Weve got a number of games against teams that made postseason play last year, including facing national-power Marquette as part of the Chicago Invitational Challenge. We also look forward to our annual games with Iowa and Iowa State, as those two contests always highlight our early-season schedule. We think the non-conference portion of our slate will challenge our team and help prepare us for what will be another great Valley season.
After opening with exhibition games against Dubuque Nov. 4 and Wayne State (Neb.) on Nov. 10, the Panthers open the regular season hosting the University of Denver on Nov. 15 at McLeod. After a trip to face Illinois-Chicago Nov. 19 in a return from last years ESPNU BracketBusters game, the Panthers then play in a four-game exempt event, the Chicago Invitational Challenge.
UNI will host the first two games of the tournament, facing Texas Southern (Nov. 23) ant Chicago State (Nov. 25) at the McLeod Center. The Panthers then travel to the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill., for the final two games, where they will face 2008 NCAA tournament qualifier Marquette (Nov. 28) and Auburn (Nov. 29).
The Panthers then host two straight games, with Iowa State making its first visit to the McLeod Center on Dec. 3, followed by North Dakota Dec. 6. UNI travels to play Iowa on Dec. 9, followed by a trip to play Mountain West Conference member Wyoming in Casper, Wyo. The Panthers close out the non-conference portion of their schedule by hosting South Dakota State Dec. 21.
UNI opens Missouri Valley Conference play at home, hosting Indiana State Dec. 28. The Panthers travel to 2008 NIT qualifier Southern Illinois Dec. 31, and then open 2009 by hosting Wichita State Jan. 3. UNI then plays three of its next four on the road, including trips to 2008 NIT participant Creighton (Jan. 6) and 2008 MVC champion and NCAA qualifier Drake (Jan. 17).
The Panthers host 2008 College Basketball Invitational finalist Bradley Jan. 21, followed by a trip to Missouri State Jan. 25. After hosting 2008 NIT qualifier Illinois State Jan. 28, UNI hits the road for two straight games, at Indiana State (Jan. 31) and at Bradley (Feb. 3). The Panthers then host Creighton and Southern Illinois in consecutive home games, on Feb. 8 and 11, respectively. After a return trip to Wichita State, UNI hosts intra-state rival Drake Feb. 18.
UNI will play a road game for its annual ESPNU BracketBusters tilt on Feb. 21, and then ends the regular season with a road game at Illinois State (Feb. 24) and a home clash against Evansville (Feb. 28). The 2008 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament will be held Mar. 5-8 at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.
Times will be announced as soon as they become available, as well as a television broadcast schedule.
2008-09 UNI Mens Basketball Schedule
Nov. 4 Dubuque -- Exhibition
Nov. 10 Wayne State (Neb.) -- Exhibition
Nov. 15 Denver
Nov. 19 at Illinois-Chicago
Chicago Invitational Challenge
Nov. 23 Texas Southern
Nov. 25 Chicago State
Nov. 28 vs. Marquette (Hoffman Estates, Ill.)
Nov. 29 vs. Auburn (Hoffman Estates, Ill.)
Dec. 3 Iowa State
Dec. 6 North Dakota
Dec. 9 at Iowa
Dec. 13 vs. Wyoming (Casper, Wyo.)
Dec. 21 South Dakota State
Dec. 28 *Indiana State
Dec. 31 *at Southern Illinois
Jan. 3 *Wichita State
Jan. 6 *at Creighton
Jan. 10 *Missouri State
Jan. 13 *at Evansville
Jan. 17 *at Drake
Jan. 21 *Bradley
Jan. 25 *at Missouri State
Jan. 28 *Illinois State
Jan. 31 *at Indiana State
Feb. 3 *at Bradley
Feb. 8 *Creighton
Feb. 11 *Southern Illinois
Feb. 14 *at Wichita State
Feb. 18 *Drake
Feb. 21 at ESPNU BracketBusters
Feb. 24 *at Illinois State
Feb. 28 *Evansville
Mar. 5-8 at State Farm MVC Tournament
*Missouri Valley Conference game
Home games in bold and played in McLeod Center