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UNI's Trae Berhow dribbles around Drake's Anthony Murphy during a 2019 game in the McLeod Center in Cedar Falls. The Panthers will play a total of seven nonconference home games this upcoming season.

CEDAR FALLS -- University of Northern Iowa basketball fans won’t have to wait long to see the Panthers in action against NCAA Division I competition this season.

UNI will open the year with four of its first five games against DI schools inside the McLeod Center, beginning with a Nov. 5 meeting against Old Dominion.

In total, the Panthers played just three nonconference home games against NCAA Division I schools last season with the first of those contests not taking place until Dec. 19. This season’s schedule includes seven nonconference home games -- five against the NCAA’s top division -- in addition to true road contests at Northern Illinois, Colorado and Grand Canyon.

The Panthers will compete in Cancun, Mexico on Nov. 26 and 27. Tournament play opens against West Virginia with a second game against either South Carolina or former Missouri Valley Conference rival Wichita State.

UNI’s MVC opener is New Year’s Eve at Illinois State, followed by the conference home opener on Jan. 4 against Bradley in a rematch of last season’s conference tournament championship game.

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