Saturday, February 20, 2010

Still Under the Radar?

One of the best kept secrets of the college basketball season has been the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) Panthers.

Sure, they have appeared in that national magazine with the initials SI, but how many folks outside of Iowa can tell me UNI's school colors or where Cedar Falls is located?

But after last night's convincing win over Old Dominion in Bracket Buster play on national TV, the Panthers discovery continues.

UNI is a tough team and poised to make some noise in the NCAA Tournament. The Panthers have already clinched the Missouri Valley Conference and stand 24-3 overall.

They do it with a veteran club, a total team effort and an outstanding young coach in Ben Jacobson.

The Panthers beat teams with the 3-ball, some easy baskets, strong free throw shooting and solid defense. All traits that will do them well in March.

UNI has no star players but ones that can burn you in any given game. The Panthers make life difficult for broadcasters and writers too. They have names like Ali Farokhmanesh, Kwadzo Ahelegbe and Jordan Egiseder.

This team is work orientated. The Panthers bring their hard hats, do their job without a lot of fanfare and go home. And go home with the victory more times than any other UNI team in history.

You like old-school basketball, then you like the Panthers? They prove that you don't have to dazzle to perform well.

How do you think UNI will fare in March?

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