For the first time since Feb. 27, 2013, Wichita State lost at home in Charles Koch Arena. The 43-game winning streak, the longest such streak in the country, was snapped on Saturday by Northern Iowa in a furious back and forth between MVC contenders.
The 53-50 win was the sixth straight for the Panthers, who started slow in conference play but earned headlines early with wins against North Carolina and Iowa State. While this game didn’t have the same billing as the top 15 matchup that closed last year’s regular season, its impact could be even greater as its put Wichita State in a situation where a win in the MVC conference tournament might be needed to get the Shockers in the field of 68 for the fifth straight season.
The Shockers deserve credit for battling back from 15 down in the second half to tie the game at 44, but ultimately the final effort — a good look at a 3-point attempt from Ron Baker to tie the game with less than three seconds left — fell short as Northern Iowa sealed the victory.
It’s the first time Wichita State has lost at home since falling to Evansville in 2013, snapped a two-game winning streak against the Panthers and gave UNI the advantage (27-26) in the all-time series.
It’s crazy to think that Wichita State, a team that flying under the radar and looking dangerous just a few games ago, could go from nationally ranked to out of the tournament, but the loss has created a situation where the Shockers can’t afford any more losses before the semifinals of the MVC tournament, as any loss before then would be a huge hit to their resume.