ST. LOUIS — The Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) released its 2022-23 men’s basketball schedule on Thursday, the first 20-game conference schedule in the league’s 115-year history. UNI is slated to play 9 MVC opponents twice, both at home and on the road, while facing 2 opponents once during the season.
The Panthers will open the 2022-23 slate on Nov. 30 at Bradley, the second consecutive season UNI has opened the conference schedule in Peoria against the Braves. UNI will welcome the Purple Aces of Evansville for its MVC home opener three days later on Dec. 3. The remainder of the league schedule will commence on Dec. 28 as the Panthers host the Missouri State Bears, before UNI visits Illinois State on New Year’s Eve.
2023 will kick off as UNI takes on the three newest members of the MVC in January, including a Jan. 10 home matchup with Murray State, and road trips to Belmont on Jan. 14 and UIC on Jan. 21. The Panthers will also host Southern Illinois, Illinois State and Valparaiso in the first month of the new year.
For the second straight season, UNI will take on in-state rival Drake twice in a two-week span, first visiting Des Moines on Feb. 1 before hosting the Bulldogs in Cedar Falls on Feb. 15. After trips to Missouri State and Southern Illinois late in the month, the Panthers will close the regular season at home on Feb. 26 against Belmont.
The 2023 MVC Men’s Basketball Tournament, commonly known as Arch Madness, will be held March 2-5 at Enterprise Center in St. Louis, the 33rd consecutive year the league’s postseason tournament has been held in the Gateway City. With conference expansion, the top four seeds in the tournament will receive byes into the quarterfinal round, with seeds 5-12 playing first round matchups on Thursday, March 2.
Game times and ticket information for upcoming MVC home games will be announced at a later date.
MVC Schedule Notes
The MVC welcomes five new head coaches to the league in 2022-23. David Ragland (Evansville) and Ryan Pedon (Illinois State) take the reins in their first year at their respective institutions, while Casey Alexander (Belmont) and Luke Yaklich (UIC) have been in place for a few seasons. Murray State’s Steve Prohm is beginning his second stint with the Racers, after previously coaching MSU from 2011-15.
Rounding out the full 2022-23 schedule, UNI will face 10 opponents this coming season who made a national postseason tournament last spring, including 3 NCAA Tournament qualifiers (Richmond, Murray State, San Francisco), 6 NIT qualifiers (Toledo, Belmont, Missouri State, St. Bonaventure, Virginia, Towson) and one CBI qualifier (Drake).
UNI will play Belmont and Murray State for the first time in program history this season. The Panthers are 11-11 against UIC in both non-conference play, and as former members of the Association of Mid-Continent Universities/Mid-Continent Conference (today known as the Summit League).
Since joining the MVC in 1991, the Panthers have won four regular season league championships, and enter the 2022-23 season as the defending champions. UNI’s other three titles came in 2009 (shared with Creighton), 2010 and 2020.
Head coach Ben Jacobson is 174-114 (.604) in conference play since becoming UNI’s head coach ahead of the 2006-07 season. Jacobson ranks 3rd in league history in league only wins, trailing only Henry Iba’s 187 (Oklahoma State, 1934-57) and Dana Altman’s 182 (Creighton, 1994-2010).
FULL 2022-23 Men’s Basketball Schedule
Home games in BOLD | * MVC Games | Time TBA
Nov. 2 vs. Dubuque (Exhibition)
Nov. 7 vs. Wartburg
Nov. 11 @ Richmond
Nov. 14 @ Virginia
Nov. 21 vs. San Francisco (Hall of Fame Classic, Kansas City) – 11:30 a.m. CT
Nov. 22 vs. Wichita State or Grand Canyon (Hall of Fame Classic, Kansas City)
Nov. 26 vs. Northern Illinois
Nov. 30 @ Bradley*
Dec. 3 vs. Evansville*
Dec. 6 vs. Toledo
Dec. 9 vs. McNeese State
Dec. 12 vs. South Florida
Dec. 17 vs. Towson (Legends of Basketball Chicago Hoops Showcase, Chicago)
Dec. 22 vs. St. Bonaventure
Dec. 28 vs. Missouri State*
Dec. 31 @ Illinois State*
Jan. 4 @ Valparaiso*
Jan. 7 vs. Southern Illinois*
Jan. 10 vs. Murray State*
Jan. 14 @ Belmont*
Jan. 18 vs. Illinois State*
Jan. 21 @ UIC*
Jan. 25 vs. Valparaiso*
Jan. 28 @ Indiana State*
Feb. 1 @ Drake*
Feb. 4 vs. Bradley*
Feb. 8 @ Evansville*
Feb. 11 vs. Indiana State*
Feb. 15 vs. Drake*
Feb. 18 @ Missouri State*
Feb. 22 @ Southern Illinois *
Feb. 26 vs. Belmont*
March 2-5 | MVC Tournament (St. Louis, Mo.)