NIU will be participating in the BracketBuster series for the ninth time in school history and will be facing Eastern Illinois for the second time in the event. The Huskies traveled to Charleston for the 2010 version of the BracketBuster, falling to the Panthers, 73-70.
This season, Eastern Illinois has a record of 6-17, 3-7 in Ohio Valley Conference play; the Panthers have won three of their last four games and will return to action on Thursday, Feb. 7, when they travel to UT Martin. Jay Spoonhour, the son of longtime collegiate head coach Charlie Spoonhour, is in his first season as head coach at Eastern Illinois. Northern Illinois leads the all-time series against EIU, 45-43.