After No. 1 seed Loyola was upset in its Arch Madness game Saturday afternoon, No. 2 seed Drake University fell victim to an upset of its own.
No. 6 seed University of Northern Iowa defeated Drake 60-58 Saturday night, meaning the top four seeds of the tournament are eliminated from contention for the Missouri Valley Conference’s (MVC) automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
With eight seconds left, Drake junior forward Tremell Murphy tied the game at 58 apiece. It looked like the game was going into overtime, but with two seconds left, Northern Iowa senior guard Wyatt Lohaus ran the ball down the court for a layup to give the Panthers the victory.
Lohaus led the Panthers with 27 points on 12-for-21 shooting while sophomore guard Trae Berhow added 12 points and six rebounds. Drake junior guard Anthony Murphy led the Bulldogs with 16 points.
“These two guys did it again,” Northern Iowa head coach Ben Jacobson said, pointing to Lohaus and Berhow in the postgame press conference. “[Lohaus] was terrific. To hang in there today when we were playing against a team that’s been on a roll because of the way they’re coached and the confidence they play with and the trust they have in each other … really proud of our whole team and really proud of these guys”
Northern Iowa last visited the final game in 2016 when it won its second consecutive title. Lohaus was a first-year on that team, which went to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, and said he was excited to have the opportunity to go back again.
“It feels great,” Lohaus said. “Everything we’ve battled through this year, and every experience I’ve had the five years that I’ve been here, to have a chance now to play to get back to the NCAA Tournament, it’s a phenomenal feeling.”
This is only the second time in MVC Tournament history a No. 6 seed has made it to the final game. The only other team to do this was Southern Illinois University in 1989. The Salukis would go on to lose to Creighton University, meaning a No. 6 seed has never won the MVC Tournament.
The Panthers are scheduled to play No. 5 seed Bradley University in the MVC championship game March 10 at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on CBS.