Cowboys Are Ready to Dance With the Panthers [VIDEOS]
The build-up has been big, but now it's time for business. The Wyoming Cowboys take on the Northern Iowa Panthers in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Friday.
It's the first ever post-season meeting, but the fifth overall, between the two squads. It pits the 12th-seeded Pokes against 5th-seeded UNI from Key Arena in Seattle, Washington. Game time is at 11:40 a.m., Mountain Time.
What was the Cowboys reaction when they found out their seed and who, when and where they were playing? See for yourself:
The match-up features two of the top defensive teams in the nation. The Panthers give up only 54.3 points per game. That's good enough for fourth best in the country. The Cowboys allow only 56 points per game, which ranks eighth in the NCAA.
Wyoming (25-9) is paced by Mountain West tournament MVP Josh Adams and MW All-Tournament team selection Larry Nance Jr. Adams is averaging 13.1 points and a team-high 3.5 assist per game. Nance leads UW in scoring, rebounding and blocks. He averages 16.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game.
Northern Iowa (30-3) has their highest ever seed in the tournament thanks to a school-record for total wins this season. They are led by Missouri Valley Conference player of the Year Seth Tuttle. The senior leads the Panthers at 15.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. UNI has seven other players that average between 4 and 8 points per game.
Senior Riley Grabau didn't give us too much insight into the opposition, but knew the focus has to be themselves and to go have fun.
The Cowboys are making their first appearance in 13 years and 15th overall in the NCAA Tournament. They are looking for their 10th win. UW is 9-19 all-time.
Wyoming has history as a 12th-seed on one prior occasion. They were the same seed in 1987, when the Cowboys made it to the Sweet 16. Ironically, UW also played in Seattle that year.
The winner will advance to the third round Sunday against either Louisville or UC Irvine.