How to watch and stream
Game Time: 7 p.m. ET
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Spread: Xavier opened as a 4.5-point favorite. The line bumped to 5 points in some locations.
Records ATS: Xavier (2-1) | UNI (2-0)
The championship game in the Tire Pros Invitational is going down, so these two teams are fighting for the right to be called a champion.
UNI and Xavier have never met against each other since at least the 1949-50 season per Sports-Reference.com’s play index. So, this’ll be a first time ever encounter on Sunday night at Disney’s Wide World of Sports.
Intriguingly, Xavier’s next opponent after this encounter with the Panthers is... you guessed it: the Panthers!
Inside the Numbers
- 65th on KenPom
- 88th in Adj. Offensive Efficiency; 50th in Adj. Defensive Efficiency
- 36th in 3PT FG%, 146th in 2PT FG%, 14th in FT%
- 50th in eFG%, 58th in TO%, 334th in Off. Reb.%, 310th in FTRate
- 16th on KenPom; 11th in AP poll
- 14th in Adj. Offensive Efficiency; 32nd in Adj. Defensive Efficiency
- 252nd in 3PT FG%, 57th in 2PT FG%, 119th in FT%
- 109th in EFG%, 173rd in TO%, 108th in Off. Reb.%, 73rd in FTRate
3 things to watch for
The Northern Iowa 3-ball
The Panthers have been deft at shooting from long range so far this season, compiling a 41.0 percent mark from that distance. This may not be an anomaly as the Panthers shot 37.2 percent as a team last year, and still have Jeremy Morgan on the roster.
Morgan was one of the team’s best 3-point shooters last year and has proven to be that again this time as he’s made six of his first 15 attempts of the season for an even 40 percent.
Junior Klint Carlson and sophomore Spencer Haldeman have contributed to the success from deep, going a combined 13-for-25. The Musketeers will have to be ready on the perimeter because UNI can shoot it from deep. And they can get hot too.
A battle of point guards
The aforementioned Morgan will be commanding the UNI offense, and the terrific Edmond Sumner will be opposite him for the Musketeers. Sumner and Morgan should have a terrific point guard battle on Sunday night and it may very well be the matchup that decides the game for both teams.
No size disadvantage here
Xavier matches up well with the Panthers. The Panthers only have one player who’s logged significant minutes this year that is taller than 6-foot-7. That’s Bennett Koch who’s been effective when he’s been asked to be but like the Musketeers, UNI doesn’t have a whole lot of size. So Xavier will benefit from the fact that they’ll be playing a team built like them. X certainly has plenty of talent on their behalf, more than Northern Iowa can say. So on paper, this matchup leans towards the Musketeers.