Where: CenturyLink Center, Omaha, Nebraska
THE STORY: Northern Iowa gets another glimpse at what could have been when they travel to Omaha to take on No. 21 Creighton and Doug McDermott. McDermott committed to Northern Iowa out of high school, but when his father Greg (former coach at Northern Iowa) left Iowa State for Creighton, Doug was allowed to follow him by his Godfather and Panthers coach Ben Jacobsen. McDermott is second in the nation in scoring at 25.2 points per game and is coming off a 44-point performance in a 92-83 victory at Bradley on Saturday.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN3.com
ABOUT CREIGHTON (13-2, 3-1 Missouri Valley Conference): After a surprising home loss to Missouri State, Creighton has run off three straight wins and sits in a four-way tie for first in the MVC. The Bluejays share the ball better than any team in the country with 20.2 assists per game. They dished out 28 assists on 33 baskets in the 92-83 victory over Bradley. Gonzaga transfer Grant Gibbs leads the team with 6.1 assists per game. McDermott’s 44-point outburst (on 18-of-23 shooting) was the highest point total by a Division I player this year and the sixth highest in Creighton history.
ABOUT NORTHERN IOWA (12-4, 2-2): Northern Iowa dropped its first two MVC games, but fought back to .500 with an 83-68 victory at Drake on Saturday. The Panthers improved to 18-1 under Jacobsen when scoring 80 or more points. Anthony James leads the scoring attack with 14.4 points per game and Jake Koch chips in 11 per game. Koch, a 6-foot-9 forward, also leads the teams in assists, rebounding and blocks. The Panthers shoot it well from the outside and take care of the ball.
1. Creighton leads the nation in field goal percentage at 51.3 percent.
2. Greg McDermott is 3-4 against his former team, including a 1-3 record while with Iowa State.
3. Northern Iowa’s last win over a ranked opponent came against No. 1 Kansas in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. The last time the Panthers beat a ranked team on the road was in 2007 against No. 16 Wichita State. Click here to Place your College Basketball bets at Bovada Sportsbook