Northern Iowa finished the season 30-3, and 16-2 in the Missouri Valley Conference. A loss in the final regular season game against Wichita State kept the Panthers from winning the conference title.
But Northern Iowa went on to win the Missouri Valley Conference tournament with a 69-60 win over Illinois State. It was the first tournament title for the Panthers since winning back-to-back crowns in 2009 and 2010.
Northern Iowa finished the season with an RPI of 14, and a Strength of Schedule of 131. The Panthers were 3-2 against the RPI Top 50, with both losses (VCU, Wichita State) coming on the road. They finished 4-0 against teams 51-100 in the RPI. The only bad loss of the season came at Evansville in the first game of the conference season, a defeat that looked very out of character the longer that Northern Iowa rolled through the rest of the Valley.
The final projections had Northern Iowa finding a spot in the field anywhere between a 3-seed and a 6-seed, with the majority settling on a 4-seed for the Panthers.