The UNI Panthers are heading back to the NCAA Tournament after winning the 2016 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Sunday afternoon (March 6).

The fourth-seeded Panthers defeated No. 2 seed Evansville 56-54 in the title game at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Wes Washpun's jumper from the center of free throw circle bounced off the back of the rim and fell through the net as the buzzer sounded, sending UNI's bench into delirium.

Washpun had 18 points, five rebounds and three assists to lead the Panthers (22-12). Klint Carlson added 17 points.

The Panthers owned a 35-18 lead at one point during the game, but squandered their advantage. They survived a 30-12 run by the Purple Aces (25-9) to knock off Evansville for the third time this season.

The tournament championship is the second in a row for the Panthers and the fifth in program history. With the victory, UNI earns the Missouri Valley's automatic berth into the 68-team NCAA Tournament field.

Tournament pairings and sites will be announced by the NCAA on Sunday (March 13). One regional site is Wells Fargo Arena is Des Moines.