The final Friday game of 2012 Missouri Valley Conference tournament's second round features a matchup between the No. 3 seed Evansville Aces and the No. 6 seed Missouri State Bears. The two regular season MVC matchups have been spectacular overtime wins for Evansville, so the rematch in Arch Madness should be a good one. On Jan. 15, the Aces pulled out an 87-82 OT win over the Bears on the road, and in the last game of the conference regular season, they doubled down with a 75-70 OT victory at home behind 17 points from junior guard Ned Cox and 12 more from junior guard Troy Taylor.
SB Nation's Bill Connelly broke down the biggest storylines of the MVC tournament on Thursday, and Evansville earned his recognition as the dark horse to win the tournament:
Evansville. After suffering a 24-point drubbing at Drake on Feb. 12, the Aces won three of four to end the regular season. They took out Northern Iowa at home on Feb. 15, and their only loss was by one point at Creighton. Defensively, Evansville is a bit of a disaster -- they force turnovers, but they allow open shots en masse -- but dark horses are never without flaws. The Aces have a solid offensive attack, led by high-volume scorer Colt Ryan (20.5 points per game); the 6-foot-5 junior is both strong from three-point range (43 percent) and proficient at getting to the line (6.8 free throw attempts per game).
The full tournament bracket can be found here, and below is the information on Friday's final game:
Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, Game 6
#3 Evansville Purple Aces (15-14, 9-9 MVC) vs. #6 Missouri State Bears (16-15, 9-9 MVC)
Game Time, Date: 8:35 pm CT, Friday, March 2, 2012
Location: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, MO
TV: MVC TV Network