ESPN’s Bob Ryan speaks at Northern Iowa

Ben Jacobson and the UNI men’s basketball team picked up a critical Missouri Valley Conference win last night.

The Panthers beat Illinois State 83-72 at the McLeod Center to climb out of the league basement.

The Panthers got the win in front of legendary Boston Globe sports writer and ESPN sports personality Bob Ryan.

This is the first time Ryan has seen UNI play in person since the Panthers made a run to the sweet sixteen in 2010.

Ryan a popular fixture on ESPN’s around the horn—is in the cedar valley as a part of northern Iowa’s Hearst lecture series.

A stipulation on his coming to Iowa…Ryan says he had to see the Panthers play.

Bob Ryan, "I am on a tour of America’s Universities in which I come and speak to any group they want whether its a class or a gathering or both which is the case here but the only stipulation is you have to have a home basketball game and when I first tell them they don’t believe me they think I am kidding but I am not kidding part of the deal is you have to have a home game so I am looking forward to the game against Illinois State."

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