The Northern Iowa Panthers have had their share of March Madness moments (just ask the Kansas Jayhawks & Texas Longhorns). It was going to take some more March magic for UNI to reach the NCAA Tournament again this season. And it almost happened.

The Panthers knocked off third-seeded Southern Illinois in the quarterfinals and second-seeded Drake in the semifinals to reach Sunday's Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title game against Bradley.

UNI jumped out to a 27-15 halftime lead but was unable to hang on, falling to the Braves 57-54. The Panthers led by 16 points with 14:27 left but were outscored 35-16 the remainder of the game.

Cedar Falls native A.J. Green (pictured) scored a game-high 23 points. The Panthers conclude their up-and-down season with a record of 16-18.

The Braves upset #1 seed Loyola-Chicago in the semifinals to advance to the championship game. Bradley (20-14) will find out their NCAA Tournament seed next Sunday.

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