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UNI, SMU Set to Play today in CIT Quarterfinals

The University of Northern Iowa men’s basketball team (20-13 overall) will play host to a quarterfinal game in the 2011 Tournament.|The University of Northern Iowa men’s basketball team (20-13 overall) will play host to a quarterfinal game in the 2011 Tournament. The Panthers will take on the SMU Mustangs (19-14 overall). The game will tip at 7 p.m. Monday in the McLeod Center.

ï UNI has won 20 games for the third straight season and the eighth time in school history.

ï UNI’s streak of three consecutive 20-win seasons is the longest active streak in the Missouri Valley Conference.

ï UNI reached the CIT quarterfinals with a first-round win over Rider (84-50) and a second-round bye. SMU reached the quarterfinals with a pair of home wins over Oral Roberts (64-57, OT) and Jacksonville (63-62).

ï UNI has posted 13 home wins this season and is two victories away from the school record of 15 set in the 1989-90 season.

ï UNI owns a 26-5 record in the McLeod Center against non-conference foes since the building opened in November 2006.

ï UNI has won 18 or more games in eight straight seasons. Prior to the 2003-04 season, UNI had won 18 or more games only six times in the history of the men’s basketball program.

ï UNI is making its third straight postseason appearance by earning a spot in the Tournament (CIT). It also marks the sixth postseason appearances in the last eight seasons for the Panthers.

ï UNI has tallied a mark of 9-10 all-time in postseason play. UNI was 5-4 in NCAA Division II postseason action and is 4-6 in NCAA Division I postseason play.

ï UNI has connected in a single-season school record 245 3-pointers. The previous mark of 233 was set in the 2009-10 season.

ï UNI ranks No. 17 in the nation in free throw percentage (75.9 percent). UNI’s single-season record for highest free throw percentage is 76.9 percent (1986-87 season).

ï UNI ranks No. 2 in the nation in turnovers per game at 9.4 per contest.

ï On the season, UNI has committed 10 or less turnovers 23 times.

ï Senior point guard Kwadzo Ahelegbe has started 106 consecutive games, a number which ranks No. 7 in the nation among active streaks.

ï Ahelegbe is tied with Adam Koch for the most games played in a UNI Panther uniform at 132 games.

SMU (19-14, 8-8 Conference USA) is located in Dallas, Texas, and has an enrollment of 10,981 students … SMU and UNI both closed the regular season with four straight losses, including opening-round losses in each others’ respective conference tournament … SMU dropped an 84-64 decision at TCU on Nov. 16 – while UNI tallied a 64-60 win over TCU on Dec. 4 … SMU posted a 64-58 win over NCAA Tournament foe Memphis on Jan. 12 … SMU is led in scoring by Papa Dia (18.7 ppg) and Robert Nyakundi (14.4 ppg) … SMU’s roster features Mike Walker, son of former Univ. of Iowa assistant coach Rich Walker … the Mustangs are led by fifth-year head coach Matt Doherty … Doherty played at North Carolina and won a national title in 1982 for head coach Dean Smith’s Tar Heels … Doherty was a college teammate of Michael Jordan … Doherty has served as head coaches at Notre Dame (1999-2000), North Carolina (2000-2003), Florida Atlantic (2005-2006) and SMU (2006-present).

The Tournament (CIT) is a 24-team tournament that will feature 12 first-round games. Four of the teams that win first-round games will advance to the quarterfinals, while the other eight teams will play for the right to advance to the quarterfinals.

Missouri State won last year’s CIT event with a 78-65 triumph over Pacific in the title game. In 2009, Old Dominion captured the CIT crown with a 66-62 victory at Bradley.

Three Missouri Valley Conference teams took part in the 2009 CIT including Bradley, Drake and Evansville. In 2010, Missouri State and Creighton represented the MVC in the CIT field.

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