Northern Iowa to face New Mexico State at Sanford Pentagon

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (News Release) – The Sanford Pentagon will host Northern Iowa and New Mexico State in a regular-season men’s college basketball game on Sunday, December 13. Both schools were projected to make the 2020 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Tickets will go on sale later. Television coverage will determine a start time.

Division I games take many months to negotiate and finalize, and this matchup was in the works before the COVID-19 pandemic began. The Sanford Pentagon will work closely with the schools and individual states and be ready to adjust based on guidelines and safety measures for all involved.

The contest will be Northern Iowa’s and New Mexico State’s first trip to the Pentagon, which has hosted 28 NCAA Division I men’s college basketball games since opening in 2013. Iowa and Oregon State are also slated to play at the Pentagon on December 22.

A member of the Missouri Valley Conference, Northern Iowa is coming off a 25-6 season, and a first place conference finish with a mark of 14-4. The 2020 MVC Larry Bird Player of the Year, AJ Green (19.7 ppg), returns for the Panthers, along with First Team All-MVC selection, Austin Phyee.

New Mexico State finished the 2019-20 season with a 25-6 record, including a perfect conference season in the WAC (16-0) and 19 wins in a row to finish the year. The Aggies were scheduled to play Chicago State in the first round of the WAC Tournament before it was canceled due to COVID-19. New Mexico State returns All-WAC First Team selection Jabari Rice and its leading rebounder and shot blocker, Johnny McCants.

This will be the inaugural meeting between the two teams.