OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma -- Less than 48 hours after a thrilling first round victory over Texas, Ben Jacobson's Panthers hope to find a balance between being game ready against Texas A&M and enjoying the moment in the NCAA tournament.
As the competition gets tougher and following the buzzer-beating victory, the Panthers used Saturday to stay loose physically and mentally.
"They've been great at when it's time to play they have been terrific in terms of competing but I also learned a few years back that these opportunities don't come around all the time," Northern Iowa head coach Ben Jacobson said.
Now their eyes turn to the No. 3 seed Aggies of Texas A&M who have 27 wins on the season.
"You know, (Texas A&M) is very talented," said Northern Iowa forward Paul Jesperson, who hit the game-winning half-court bank shot on Friday night. "Their wings, obviously (Danuel) House is a great player. They have a couple of big guys who are very good. Their big guy down low has great feet great hands and they're athletic."
The 23-12 Panthers have now won 12 of their last 13 and are on a seven-game winning streak, to go along with the confidence they need for another tournament upset.
"Just trying to echo to the guys to stay confident, stay ready, and it was great what happened but that's not our ultimate goal to get to the Round of 32," Northern Iowa guard Matt Bohannon said. "We want to move on farther and just trying to stay confident and fearless as we can be."
The Aggies and Panthers have met just once all-time and it came during the 1996-97 season, an 82-70 victory for the Panthers in the same place they'll play each other on Sunday night, Oklahoma City.