UNI shocks No. 1 ranked Kansas


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The Panthers shook the college basketball scene by defeating No. 1 ranked Kansas University Jayhawks.

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Editors Note: This article is from March 26, 2010 from the Northern Iowan. 

The University of Northern Iowa men’s basketball team shocked the college basketball world Saturday night with a 60-67 victory over the No. 1 ranked and top seeded Kansas University Jayhawks in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Panthers (30-4) came away victorious beind a strong defensive effort and another late three-pointer from senior guard Ali Farokhmanesh who hit the game-winning three the night before as well against the University of Nevada – Las Vegas in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. 

“I was just open on that side and they were trapping when the ball came up to me,” said Farokhmanesh after the victory over the Jayhawks. “Johny (Moran) was on the other wing so I was going to see if I could drive it but they back off so far that I thought I might as well just shoot this one.”

“I don’t know if coach really wanted him to shoot that when we’re in a position like that, but if you know Ali you know that shot is going up at the end of the game like that,” said Johny Moran. 

Farokhmanesh buried the three-pointer in transition with 35 seconds remaining in regulation and the shot clock still in the 30’s to end a dominating start-to-finish win that sends the Panthers to the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history. 

Kansas (33-3) fell behind early and failed to make one of their anticipated runs until it was too little too late. The Jayhawks bowed out of tournament with another disappointing NCAA loss to a lower seeded team like they did when they lost to Bradley University in 2006 and Bucknell University the year before that. Junior center Cole Aldrich had 13 points and 10 rebounds on the night and sophomore forward Marcus Morris added 16 points. 

“I knew we were going to have to make our three point shots and I really felt like in our preparation that Kansas was going to have to miss some three point shots and that happened for us,” said UNI head coach Ben Jacobson. “They’re so good everywhere that some things were going to have to go our way tonight. 

“Our guys did a good job of rebounding the basketball for the most part and we were able to knock in some timely threes when we had to. I’m excited for these guys and that we have an opportunity to keep playing.” The Panthers were led in scoring by Farokhmanesh’s 16 points. Senior center Jordan Eglseder chipped in with 14 points and five rebounds. Adam Koch and Lucas O’Rear also grabbed five boards a piece. 

UNI will return to action Friday night at 8:37 p.m. when they take on the Michigan State Spartans for the right to play in the Elite Eight. The Spartans (26-8) of the Big Ten Conference reached the Sweet 16 by defeating New Mexico State 70-67 and Maryland 85-83.