UW vs. Northern Iowa: 3 keys, notes, quotes and video

My three keys for Wyoming’s game with Northern Iowa in the second round of the East Regional of the NCAA Tournament. Tipoff is at 11:40 a.m. MT Friday from Key Arena in Seattle.

1. Defend the perimeter: Probably sounds like a broken record for the Cowboys, but they face a Northern Iowa team that shoots nearly 40 percent from 3-point range. The Panthers have eight players who have made between 15 and 50 3s this season, and five that shoot better than 40 percent from behind the arc. Guys big and small can shoot the ball for Northern Iowa. It will make some shots, but if the Cowboys allow them to get hot from outside it will be a long game.

Josh Adams

Josh Adams

2. Continued good play from Adams: Junior guard Josh Adams was the Mountain West Tournament MVP by averaging 18.7 points and shooting 49 percent from the field over three games last week in Las Vegas. Adams needs to have a similar-type game against Northern Iowa. Attacking the basket when the opportunities are there, as well as knocking down some perimeter shots are musts. Adams doesn’t need to put the game on his shoulders, and it will be important for others to be involved. But if Adams and senior forward Larry Nance Jr. can score, things open up for others.

Here is my video preview for today’s game:

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UW-Northern Iowa men’s basketball Q&A

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Andrew Logue, who covers Northern Iowa men’s basketball for the Des Moines Register, about Friday’s NCAA Tournament Second Round game between No. 12 seed Wyoming and No. 5 seed and 10th-ranked Northern Iowa.

The game starts at 11:40 p.m. MT and will be televised on TBS.

Follow on Twitter: @AndrewMLogue


Andrew Logue

Andrew Logue

How much similarity do you see between Northern Iowa and Wyoming? Both are among the top 10 nationally in scoring defense, but aside from that, what else do you see?

The similarities are philosophical. Last season, Northern Iowa allowed 69.3 points per game (highest of coach Ben Jacobson’s nine seasons), and finished with a 16-15 record (the fewest wins of Jacobson’s tenure). This season, the Panthers went back to their original blue print. Both these rosters were assembled to fit a specific approach to the game. That’s why Jacobson says he began following the Cowboys from afar, when their defensive numbers “popped out.”


At 30-3 there hasn’t been many times the Panthers have struggled, but when they have, what have teams been able to do to beat them?

If 6-foot-8 senior Seth Tuttle struggles, the Panthers have problems. He was limited against Virginia Commonwealth, and Evansville has a deceptively good defensive player in the post. There have also been times when UNI struggled with quicker guards (Illinois State) who take defenders off the dribble and get to the basket for layups. So, if you’ve got big bodies in the paint, flex your muscle. And if you’ve got a talented point guard, attack.


How do you see the match-up between Tuttle and Wyoming forward Larry Nance Jr.?

It’ll be the matchup we all talk about. And then during the game, they’ll probably neutralize each other. I can see Nance having something to prove, considering the attention Tuttle has received. Then again, Seth really is a student of the game and had watched Larry play several times before Selection Sunday. He was giving us a scouting report on Wyoming minutes after the bracket was unveiled. If Tuttle is motivated, he can take UNI to another level. Just hit rewind on the win over Wichita State.

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