SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Northern Iowa and Western Kentucky have been added to the impressive eight-team field competing in the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic, November 25-27 at the Sanford Pentagon, tournament officials announced Monday.
The Panthers and Hilltoppers will meet in the first round of the event at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 25.
The Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic is a new event that also includes Saint Mary’s, Memphis, South Dakota State, Utah State, West Virginia and Wichita State. All 12 games will air live on the ESPN family of networks.
This will be Northern Iowa’s and Western Kentucky’s first trip to the Sanford Pentagon.
“We are excited to be competing against some of the best teams in the country,” said Northern Iowa head coach Ben Jacobson. “This is always a first class event and we know all the protocols are in place to make sure that it is again this year. We appreciate the opportunity to be part of this year’s field and look forward to a great tournament.”
The Panthers will look to improve on the successful 2019-20 season after finishing with a 25-6 overall record. UNI finished with a 14-4 mark in MVC play, winning the regular-season title. The Panthers fell to the Bulldogs of Drake in the quarterfinal game in Arch Madness before the cancellation of postseason play. The Panthers return the 2020 Larry Bird Player of the Year in junior guard AJ Green as well as First Team All-MVC selection Austin Phyfe. UNI will have a standout perimeter shooter and 2020 All-MVC Most Improved team member Trae Berhow back for his senior season as well as 2018 All-Freshman team member Tywhon Pickford.
“We’re very excited to be a part of the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic,” said Western Kentucky head coach Rick Stansbury. “Lea Miller always runs a great event, and even through the challenging times we’re all dealing with, she’s managed to put together a great field. This is a tremendous tournament with great competition, and we look forward to the challenging opportunities on a national stage to open our season.”
WKU Hilltopper Basketball is slated to enter its 102nd season and fifth under veteran head coach Rick Stansbury with a balance of returning leaders and talented newcomers. WKU is 8-4 against Power Five opponents in the last three seasons, recording 67 total victories in the same time period, the most by any team in Conference USA. Two key starters return to the backcourt for the Hilltoppers in seniors Taveion Hollingsworth and Josh Anderson, bringing back a combined 28.3 points per game from 2019-20. In the front court, WKU anticipates the return of junior center Charles Bassey who suffered a season-ending leg injury against Arkansas in December 2019. Redshirt senior forward Carson Williams joins Bassey in the front court and is the fourth returning starter for the Hilltoppers. WKU returned a total of six letterwinners and has seven newcomers on the 2020-21 squad.
BAD BOY MOWERS CROSSOVER CLASSIC SCHEDULE
Wednesday, November 25
1 p.m. – Saint Mary's vs. Memphis (ESPN2)
3:30 p.m. – Western Kentucky vs. Northern Iowa (ESPNU)
6 p.m. – West Virginia vs. South Dakota State (ESPN2)
8:30 p.m. – Utah State vs. Wichita State (ESPN2)
Thursday, November 26
11 a.m. – Semifinal No. 1 (ESPN)
1:30 p.m. – Semifinal No. 2 (ESPN)
4 p.m. – Consolation Semifinal No. 1 (ESPN/ESPN2)
6:30 p.m. – Consolation Semifinal No. 2 (ESPN2)
Friday, November 27
12:30 p.m. – Championship (ESPN)
3 p.m. – 5th or 7th place (ESPN2/ESPNU)
5:30 p.m. – 5th or 7th place (ESPN2/ESPNU)
8 p.m. – 3rd place (ESPN2)