After a major upset of No. 14 Wichita State in the semifinals, the Illinois State Redbirds are now leading 31-30 at halftime over No. 24 Creighton in the Missouri Valley Conference final. The winner gets an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, and Illinois State essentially needs this victory to get a bid.
With an underwhelming regular season out of the way, Illinois State is hoping for a second consecutive major upset. The Redbirds haven't been to the NCAA Tournament since 1998, with only six appearances overall in school history.
Creighton actually led for most of the first half, but credit Illinois State for making a major comeback. The Bluejays were leading 27-16 with about six minutes left in the half, but the Redbirds would proceed to finish off the half on a 15-3 run.
Doug McDermott, one of the nation's top scorers, leads Creighton with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting. He's gotten help from Grant Gibbs, who has chipped in six points, seven rebounds, two assists and a steal. Tyler Brown leads Illinois State with eight points and Jackie Carmichael has added seven points.
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