EDITOR'S NOTE: To get fans ready for first- and second-round Southeast Regional games at the ThunderDome, the Times is looking back at some of the NCAA Tournament's biggest first-round upsets since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985.
'90 Southeast Regional
No. 14 Northern Iowa 74, No. 3 Missouri 71: Northern Iowa never had appeared in an NCAA Tournament game, but that didn't scare the 14th-seeded Panthers, who shocked third-seeded Missouri 74-71 on Maurice Newby's three-point basket with one second left.
The Panthers led by 12 points with 4:49 to play in the NCAA Southeast Regional game in Richmond, Va., but the 11th-ranked Tigers battled back and tied the game at 71 after Nathan Buntin drove for a layup and was fouled. Buntin's free throw evened the score with 29 seconds left.
After Northern Iowa called time out with 10 seconds left, Newby, who finished with nine points, worked himself free on the left wing and made the winning 20-footer.
"We wanted them to shoot the ball with a hand in their face," Missouri coach Norm Stewart said. "Under ordinary circumstances, we don't think that ball will go in."
Stewart's sixth consecutive NCAA Tournament defeat completed a hard fall for the Tigers, who had been 25-2 and ranked No. 1 in the country for four weeks. They finished 26-6, losing to Notre Dame late in the season and to lowly Colorado in the Big Eight Conference Tournament.
"I don't know if I'll even watch the rest of the games," Missouri's Anthony Peeler said.
For Northern Iowa, which qualified for the NCAA Tournament by winning the Association of Mid-Continent Universities Tournament, the victory was sweet.
"This is the biggest game we've played in four years, but then, a school like us doesn't play any little ones," Northern Iowa coach Eldon Miller said. "Words can't describe what this means to me, to the players, to the school and the community."
_ BOB HARIG