UNI unveils 2022-23 men’s basketball schedule



The UNI men’s basketball team won the MVC regular season championship for the second time in three years. The Panthers open this season Nov. 7, hosting Wartburg.

COLIN HORNING, Sports Editor

The Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) released its full slate of games for the upcoming 2022-23 conference season this past week. The Valley will be welcoming three new members to the conference for 2022-23: the Murray State Racers, Belmont Bruins and the Flames of the University of Illinois-Chicago, or UIC, following the departure of men’s basketball powerhouse Loyola-Chicago to the Atlantic 10 conference. The UNI men’s basketball team is coming off of their second MVC regular-season title in three seasons and will be looking to replace several key players from last year’s squad. The Panthers will be replacing two-time MVC Player of the Year AJ Green following his departure to the NBA, along with starter Noah Carter, who transferred to Missouri and starters Trae Berhow and Tywhon Pickford, who both graduated. 

The season starts out light for the Panther men as they’ll host NCAA Division III Wartburg out of nearby Waverly, Iowa on Monday, Nov. 7 to tip off the new season. Some notable matchups in the non-conference slate will be on Nov. 11 at Richmond, who defeated the Panthers 60-52 in the McLeod Center on Dec. 5 of last year and are the defending Atlantic 10 Conference tournament champions. UNI will stay out east for a battle against Atlantic Coast Conference stalwart Virginia on Nov. 14 for a tough early-season matchup. The Panthers will take part in the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City, Mo. on Nov. 21 and 22, with their first game against the San Francisco Dons. The second game in Kansas City will either be against Wichita State or Grand Canyon on Nov. 22, depending on results of the first round games. 

The Panther men will return home to the McLeod Center on Nov. 26 against Northern Illinois, before opening up MVC play on the road against Bradley on Nov. 30. They’ll host Evansville on Dec. 3 for another MVC game, and return to a stretch of non-conference games at home throughout December. UNI will take part in the Legends of Basketball Chicago Hoops Showcase at the United Center in Chicago on Dec. 17 against Towson, and St. Bonaventure comes to Cedar Falls on Dec. 22 to close out the non-conference stretch for UNI. 

Among the notable MVC matchups for UNI is on Jan. 10 when the Panthers host MVC newcomer Murray State. The Racers went 31-3 overall last season, as well as a perfect 18-0 in Ohio Valley Conference play, and were a No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament last season. UNI will then travel to Nashville, Tenn. for a road matchup against another MVC newcomer, the Belmont Bruins. UNI travels to the Windy City on Jan. 21 to match up with the third new member in the Valley, the UIC Flames. 

UNI will clash with in-state rival Drake two times in the month of February. Wednesday, Feb. 1 sees the Panthers travel to Des Moines to battle the Bulldogs, and the Panthers will welcome Drake to the McLeod Center on Wednesday, Feb. 15. The final home game, as well as the regular season finale, is on Sunday, Feb. 26 against Belmont. 

The MVC men’s basketball tournament, or “Arch Madness,” returns to St. Louis from Thursday, March 2 to Sunday, March 5. One of the most iconic men’s basketball conference tournaments will determine who will receive the MVC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.