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1/30/21 Lock of the Day: Northern Iowa @ Southern Illinois

The date was January 6, 2007. It was a Saturday and also the first college basketball game I ever attended as Southern Illinois traveled to play Northern Iowa. I was 9 years old, and my older sister Katie who was enrolled at UNI took me to the game. She saved us the best seats in the house front row of the UNI student section. Before the game, my favorite player 6’6″ center THE Eric Coleman sat down on the chairs right by us while the team was shooting around. My sister convinced me to get a picture with him. As a 9 year old, I was nervous to bother the former Missouri Valley Freshman of the year 04-05. My sister gave me the extra push I needed, and I got that picture.

Coleman went on to lead the Missouri Valley Conference in rebounding that season (06-07) and the following season (07-08). I can only assume my picture with Coleman gave him the motivation to be a beast on the boards. UNI went on to win the game 61-66 with Coleman dropping 12 points. My second favorite part of the game was sitting in the student section and listening to them heckle the Southern Illinois players. In particular Southern Illinois’s leading scorer Jamaal Tatum, which the student section was consistently yelling “Tatum have a beer have a beer.” As a 9 year old, this is one of the funniest things to yell at a player, and I will always remember my first basketball game.

Fast forward to today’s matchup, the 4-10 Panthers travel to the 7-5 Salukis. The game tips off at 3:00 PM (CT) on ESPN3. The current betting lines have the Panthers a two point favorite with an over/under at 137.5.



The Panthers came into the season projected to win the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC). However, a season ending injury to 2019-2020 MVC Player of the Year, A.J. Green, has sent the Panthers in a downward spiral. They are 2-8 in their last 10 games and are 2-7-1 ATS in these games. On the flip side, the Salukis are not much better as they have lost 5 games in a row after winning their first 7 games of the season. This is the toilet bowl of the MVC, and someone has got to win. The main weakness in the Panthers is how pathetic they are on the road (1-7 ATS). In addition, their most recent game was a 70-60 win against a bad Division III school, Coe College. The Panthers looked bad in their win against a team that is not half as talented as the Salukis. Now the Panthers have to travel to one of their MVC rivals, and they are favored by the sportsbooks. I will take the home team and the points in the MVC toilet bowl.



UNI PPG: 70.1         SIU PPG: 71.0

UNI PAG: 73.4         SIU PAG: 69.4

UNI FG%: 44.3%     SIU FG% 46.7%



Neither of the teams are playing good basketball. What sticks out to me is that UNI has been nonexistent in road games this year and is favored in today’s game. Most importantly, UNI played their starters a majority of the minutes against a bad Division III school and only won by 10. There were very few positives to take away from this game other than the win itself, as UNI looked bad on the court on Monday. In a 50/50 game, the advantage lies with the home team and the points.



Southern Illinois +2




Article written by DJ Loutsch

Twitter @djlo4422

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