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Panthers spring first loss on former coach McDermott

Greg McDermott received a warm welcome in his return to Northern Iowa, but it was the Panthers who got the last laugh, Kyle Whelliston writes.

Updated: November 30, 2006, 12:29 PM ET
By Kyle Whelliston | Special to ESPN.com

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Basketball followers in the Hawkeye State (at least the ones who aren't Hawkeyes fans) had been anticipating this one all summer: the Northern Iowa Panthers, corn-fed stars of the Missouri Valley with three straight NCAA appearances, hosting once-mighty Iowa State of the Big 12. Even though the two schools had met 41 times before in battles for the mythical, yet prized, "state title," there was something different about this one.

"Sure it's different," said first-year ...

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