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Battle 4 Atlantis: Northern Iowa preview

Northern Iowa (3-0)

The coach: Ben Jacobson—Jacobson has taken his Panthers to the NCAA Tournament twice in his six years, including a magical 2010 run to the Sweet Sixteen as a No. 9 seed.

The season so far: So far, the Panthers have been what you might call a conservative team. Their defense struggles to generate turnovers, ranking 312th in the nation in that category, but by being cautious they are able to keep their opponents away from the free-throw line and off the offensive glass.

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On the offensive end, they do a good job getting to the line and they make their shots from the charity stripe, ranking sixth in the country with an 83.1 percent showing.

The player to watch: Deon Mitchell. The 6-foot-1 sophomore point guard does it all for the Panthers, leading the team in scoring—17.7 points per game so far, on 18-of-27 shooting from the field—and assists, with 4.7 per contest and nearly 2.5 per turnover.

Projected starting five: G Deon Mitchell, G Matt Bohannon, G Marc Sonnen, F Seth Tuttle, F Jake Koch

Road to the championship: The Panthers need to upset No. 2 Louisville in the first round and then beat the winner of No. 13 Missouri-Stanford to face a team from the other side of the bracket.

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