Rams draw Northern Iowa in ESPN2 Bracket Buster matchup

VCU drew one of the highly-coveted ESPN games in this year’s edition of the Bracketbuster matchups, this time taking on the Panthers of Northern Iowa (14-9, 4-7) out of the always competitive Missouri Valley Conference in a nationally-televised ESPN2 contest Friday, February 17nd at 7PM.

The Rams needed an RPI boosting opponent, and seem to have gotten that as the Panthers were the fourth-highest rated away team (57) in this year’s group of teams. VCU was the 11th-highest rated home team (84) heading into tonight’s pairings.

UNI started the season out strong, winning ten of their first eleven including a season-opening 63-46 road win at Old Dominion. The Panthers have been on a bit of a slide however, losing five of their last seven including an 11-point road loss to a 6-17 Bradley team who are winless in the MVC otherwise.

Which UNI team will show up in Richmond remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: you’d be hard-pressed to find many Kansas fans tuned into the matchup. A season before VCU stunned the college hoops world in upsetting the Jayhawks for a ticket to the 2011 Final 4, the Panthers sent Bill Self’s squad home after UNI’s Ali Farokhmanesh’s late 3-pointer punched the Panthers a ticket to the Sweet 16 and ended the season of the perennial power Jayhawks.


VCU School of the Arts (BFA '07) and Center for Sport Leadership (M.Ed. '10) alumnus, Mat has followed VCU basketball since the Sunbelt days when he'd...