30 Years Ago: UNI Stuns Missouri In NCAA Tournament
Thirty years ago, UNI became the talk of the college basketball world when the 14th-seeded Panthers stunned third-seeded Missouri 74-71 in the first-round of the 1990 NCAA Tournament.
UNI (22-8), then coached by Eldon Miller after his firing at Ohio state, was part of the 64-team field for the first time in program history. Against Missouri (26-5), the Panthers were facing a team that was ranked No. 6 in the final Associated Press poll after being ranked No. 1 in the nation for four weeks. The Tigers were guided by Norm Stewart, who's only previous head coaching job was at State College of Iowa (now UNI) from 1961 to 1967.
The game on March 16, 1990, was played at Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Va. After trailing 2-0, the Panthers led Missouri the entire game until the Tigers rallied to tie the score at 71-71 with 29 seconds remaining. After a UNI timeout at the :10 mark, Maurice Newby drained a contested three-pointer from the left wing that put the little-known Association of Mid-Continent Universities (AMCU) tournament champion on the national map.
After eliminating Missouri, UNI fell to sixth-seeded Minnesota 81-78 in the second-round. It would be another 14 years before UNI would make another NCAA Tournament appearance. The Panthers lost first-round games in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2009. They wouldn't record another win as part of March Madness until 2010, the year they beat UNLV and upset top-seeded Kansas during their memorable run to the Sweet 16.