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Drake shocks Northern Iowa in biggest upset of 2020 conference tournament season

What the heck just happened in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament?

Drake Bulldogs guard Noah Thomas controls the ball against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the second half at Fifth Third Arena. Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Behind 26 points from Roman Penn on 10/17 from the floor, the No. 8 Drake Bulldogs stunned the No. 1 Northern Iowa Panthers 77-56 in the quarterfinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament today in St. Louis.

We have the biggest upset of the 2020 conference tournament season. And wow was it big.

Drake was a 10-point underdog at tip-off, and won by 21. Northern Iowa beat Drake by 27 in the Bulldogs gym six days ago. And the Bulldogs played yesterday in an opening round game as well, beating Illinois State 75-65, and didn’t get off the floor until after 8 p.m. local time.

This makes absolutely no sense. But it’s why this time of year is so wonderful.

It’s the first time a No. 8 seed has defeated a No. 1 seed at the MWC’s Arch Madness, a tournament celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The loss likely relegates the MWC regular season champions UNI to the NIT, but their record of 25-6 could still get consideration from the NCAA Selection Committee.

A trip to the finals, and UNI was probably a lock for the field of 68. But now it seems they’re on the wrong side of the bubble, and will have sit and wait for the next nine days to find out their fate.

As for the CinDrakeElla, they’ll get the winner of No. 5 Southern Illinois and No. 4 Bradley, who will begin 30 minutes after the Bulldogs finally stop celebrating and clears the court.

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