The Missouri Valley Conference is often known as "Arch Madness", and it has definitely earned its reputation as one of the craziest conference tournaments in the tournament. This year promises to be no different, as several of the league's top teams played on Friday, and there was no shortage of drama. Let's recap the Friday action.
No. 1 Creighton Bluejays 65, No. 9 Drake Bulldogs 53
Doug McDermott put on a show as usual, scoring 23 points and becoming the school's all-time leader in points scored. He had help from his teammates, as well, as Gregory Echenique finished with a double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds). The Bulldgos never let this game turn into a blowout, but they never came close enough to make Creighton sweat, either. The Bluejays will play Indiana State on Saturday.
No. 5 Indiana State Sycamores 51, No. 4 Evansville Aces 50
This was a true defensive slugfest--the game went for multiple minutes without either team scoring a field goal. Sure enough, the game came down to the wire and was decided by...free throws. The last field goal in the game was scored with 3:04 left, tying the game at 50-50. After that, it was a succession of missed shots and missed free throws, until ISU's Justin Gant finally made one from the line with 2.5 seconds left. The Sycamores will take on Creighton on Saturday.
No. 2 Wichita State Shockers 69, No. 7 Missouri State Bears 59
The Shockers took care of business in their first game in the tourney. Carl Hall paced the team with a double-double (18 points, 12 rebounds), and the team as a whole dominated the Bears in rebounds (39 to 21). Marcus Marshall was the hero in a losing effort, leading the Bears with 25 points. Wichita State will face (TEAM) on Saturday.
No. 6 Illinois State Redbirds 73, No. 3 Northern Iowa Panthers 65
Tyler Brown scored 28 points and led the Redbirds to a victory that looked easier than it looked on the scoreboard. The Redbirds never really let Nothern Iowa into this game, and led it nearly from wire-to-wire. They will take on Wichita State in the semifinals on Saturday.
You can check out the updated bracket at the official website here.
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