Northwest Set to Face Central Missouri in Sweet 16

By Matt Tritten |

Published 03/17 2014 07:04PM

Updated 03/17 2014 07:51PM

(MANKATO, Minn.) Northwest Missouri State is gunning for its first Elite Eight berth since 2004, but they have to get through a fellow MIAA opponent to get there.

The 5th seeded Bearcats face the 2nd seeded Central Missouri Mules Tuesday in Mankato, Minn. with the region's championship on the line.

The 'Cats and Mules split the regular season series with the home team winning each. The last meeting was a 76-64 victory for UCM.

"The game plan didn't work the last time we played them, so I think we better come up with a new one," Northwest head coach Ben McCollum said.

Northwest reaches the Sweet 16 after wins over Winona State and the No. 1 seed in the region, Minnesota State.

Over the last two games, the Bearcats have shot over 50-percent from the field and Deshaun Cooper's scored 54 points combine in the wins.

The Mules beat Arkansas Tech in the first round, then got past another conference foe, Missouri Southern, 94-84 to reach the region's championship game.

Tuesday's winner in Mankato will face the winner between Southern Connecticut State and Saint Anselm in the Elite Eight.

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