Missouri Valley Tournament 2012: Arch Madness Concludes On Sunday

The 2012 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament began on Thursday night and continues through Sunday afternoon.

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Illinois State Vs. Creighton Final Score: Bluejays Get Automatic Bid With 83-79 OT Victory

The No. 24 Creighton Blue Jays punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament with a 83-79 overtime victory over the Illinois State Redbirds in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title game on Sunday. It was a tight, contested battle from start to finish, with the Bluejays creaking out a victory against the surprisingly challenging Redbirds.

Coming off a stunning upset of No. 14 Wichita State, Illinois State gave Creighton quite the fight before ultimately getting too far behind in overtime. The two teams traded leads numerous times during the game, with Creighton taking a double-digit lead early before Illinois State quickly battled back.

In overtime, Creighton got out to another big lead, and Illinois State's final comeback came a bit too late. Trailing 79-70 with 45 seconds left in overtime, the Redbirds finally found their three-point stroke. Jackie Carmichael knocked down one with 37 seconds left to cut the lead to six, and Nic Moore followed up seven seconds later with another one to cut the lead to five points following a pair of Bluejay free throws.

And after Antoine Young split a pair of shots at the line, Illinois State cut the lead to three points with 12 seconds left. Back at the line again, Young once again split the pair, but at least he gave Creighton a two-score lead. That was enough, as Illinois State would be unable to pull off a minor miracle at the end.

Doug McDermott had a big game for Creighton, scoring 33 points on 12-of-18 shooting, and Grant Gibbs was big as well with 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Moore led Illinois State with 20 points and Carmichael added 17 points.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For the complete bracket and schedule, you can click here. For more on college basketball, you can check out SB Nation's college basketball news hub.

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Missouri Valley Tournament 2012, Illinois State Vs. Creighton: Redbirds Aim For NCAA Tournament Automatic Bid

The 2012 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Championship Game between the Illinois St. Redbirds and Creighton Bluejays on Saturday has built a high level of expectation going in after the thrilling previous rounds.

Illinois State clinched its berth in the title game after a 65-64 upset victory over Wichita State Friday. It took a second half surge in which the Redbirds outscored Wichita State 37-28 after trailing by eight points at halftime and by as many as 13 in the game.

Tyler Brown sank a pair of free throws with 6.4 seconds left and finished with 25 points against Wichita State.

Brown told the Times Republican in Iowa that he put a lot of pressure on himself to knock down those shots from the charity stripe.

"I was just thinking, ‘I've got to knock these down. It's all on me,'" said Brown in a phone interview after the victory. "It's do or die, survive and advance right now. We didn't come here to win one game, we came to win the whole thing. That was our mindset coming into this game and it's still our mindset."

Creighton is riding a six-game winning streak into the championship game.

The Bluejays are winners of six of the last 13 conference tournaments and are looking for their first trip to the NCAAs since 2007.

The Redbirds are seeking their first NCAA tournament berth since 1998.

Game time/date: 1:05 p.m. CT, Sunday, March 4, 2012

Location: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, MO

TV: CBS

For more updates on the game, check back with SB Nation Chicago, or the SB Nation College Basketball site.

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Missouri Valley Tournament 2012: Illinois State Advances To Championship Game With 65-64 Upset

The Illinois St. Redbirds beat the No. 15 Wichita St. Shockers, 65-64, on Saturday to advance to Sunday's 2012 Missouri Valley Championship Game.

In a game that lived up to its "Arch Madness" billing, Illinois State completed an impressive comeback, outscoring the shocked Shockers 37-28 in the second half. In the first half, Wichita State took a 36-28 lead and held the Redbirds offense to just a 29.2 field goal percentage.

G Tyler Brown (25 pts, 6 reb) and F Jackie Carmichael (12 pts, 11 reb) led the team through a hot-shooting second half. The Redbirds actually managed a better shooting percentage from beyond the line, hitting 5 of 13 three-pointers (38.5%) compared 12 of 32 two-pointers (37.5%) in the second half.

The surge proved sufficient enough to finally shut down F Ben Smith (14 pts, 13 reb) and give ILSU the win on a pair of Brown free throws. The Redbird will square off against the Creighton Bluejays on Sunday, looking for another upset win.

2012bracket_medium

Bracket courtesy of MVC-Sports.com.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For the complete bracket and schedule, you can click here. For more on college basketball, you can check out SB Nation's college basketball news hub.

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Missouri Valley Tournament 2012: Bracket Update And Illinois State Vs. Wichita State Preview

The 2012 Missouri Valley Conference tournament has advanced to the semifinal round, and the No. 4 seed Illinois St. Redbirds face a difficult matchup against the top-seeded Wichita St. Shockers in the first matchup on Saturday afternoon. The winner of that game will take on the winner of the other semifinal matchup between the second-seeded Creighton Bluejays and the No. 3 seed Evansville Aces.

Illinois State still has a shot at the NCAA Tournament after a 54-42 victory over Northern Iowa Panthers in the quarterfinal round on Friday. Jackie Carmichael led the Redbirds with 16 points and 15 rebounds. The Shockers cruised to a 72-48 win over the Indiana St. Sycamores thanks to 14 points and four assists from Toure Murry and 14 points on 6-8 shooting and five assists from Joe Ragland.

Here is a look at the semifinal matchup:

#4 Illinois St. Redbirds (19-12, 9-9 MVC) vs. #1 Wichita St. Shockers (27-4, 16-2 MVC)

Game Time, Date: 1:35 pm CT, Saturday, March 3, 2012

Location: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, MO

TV: MVC TV Network

Here's a look an an updated bracket via MVC-Sports.com Arch Madness Tournament Central:

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For the complete bracket and schedule, you can click here. For more on college basketball, you can check out SB Nation's college basketball news hub.

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Illinois State Vs. Northern Iowa Final Score: Redbirds Advance With 54-42 Win

Illinois State kept its NCAA Tournament hopes alive on Friday afternoon with a 54-42 victory over Northern Illinois in the quarterfinal round of the 2012 Missouri Valley Conference tournament. Jackie Carmichael led the Redbirds with 16 points and 15 rebounds.

Related: Missouri Valley Tournament 2012: Bracket Update, Friday Schedule And More

Neither team shot the ball well from the field, but Illinois State was a bit better in that area, and the Redbirds also won the battle of the boards. With turnovers and free throw attempts relatively even, the edges Illinois State had in the shooting and rebounding categories were enough to deliver the win.

The Redbirds move on to the semifinal round on Saturday, where they will face No. 1 seed Wichita State.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For the complete bracket and schedule, you can click here. For more on college basketball, you can check out SB Nation's college basketball news hub.

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Missouri Valley Tournament 2012: Bracket Update, Friday Schedule And More

The opening round of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament -- Arch Madness -- was not kind to the No. 9 seed Southern Illinois Salukis No. 10 seed Bradley Braves. Both teams were bounced from the bracket on Thursday, as Southern Illinois lost 65-51 to the Indiana State Sycamores and Bradley fell the Drake Bulldogs by a score of 65-49. now local hopes to take the tournament are pinned solely on the No. 4 seed Illinois State Redbirds, who take on the No. 5 seed Northern Iowa Panthers on Friday afternoon.

SB Nation's Bill Connelly broke down the biggest storylines of the MVC tournament on Thursday, and Redbirds forward Jackie Carmichael and Panthers guard Anthony James both appeared on his "Players To Watch" list:

Jackie Carmichael, Illinois State. The 6-foot-9 junior from Manhattan, Kan. is a dominant force for the Redbirds' offense. His game is quite similar to that of Stutz above; he shoots 53 percent on two-pointers and ranks fourth in the country in defensive rebound rate. Accordingly, he almost averaged a double-double.

Anthony James, Northern Iowa. The six-foot junior dominates the UNI offense, for better or worse. He takes one-third of the shots when he is on the floor, and he was the only Panther to average double-digits. He makes 40 percent of his 3-pointers, and when he's on, UNI is very dangerous. Needless to say, he'll need to be on.

Here is a look at the updated bracket going into Friday's action:

Mvc_tournament_bracket_medium

The full tournament bracket can also be found here, and below is the information on Illinois State's Friday game:

Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, Game 4

#4 Illinois State Redbirds (18-12, 9-9 MVC) vs. #5 Northern Iowa Panthers (19-12, 9-9 MVC)

Game Time, Date: 2:35 pm CT, Friday, March 2, 2012

Location: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, MO

TV: -- MVC TV Network

For more on NCAA Hoops, check out the SB Nation NCAA hub at sbnation.com/NCAA-Basketball.

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2012 Missouri Valley Tournament, Southern Illinois Vs. Indiana State Preview

The No. 9 seed Southern Illinois Salukis take on the No. 8 seed Indiana State Sycamores in the first game of the 2012 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament on Thursday night in St. Louis. The Salukis suffered through a difficult conference regular season, winning just five of their 18 games in the MVC, but the slate is wiped clean for the postseason tournament and Southern Illinois gets another shot to redeem themselves.

The road to the championship will not be an easy one, as even a win on Thursday night would put them up against the No. 1 overall seed Wichita State Shockers on Friday. Mamadou Seck leads the team in points (13.3 PPG), rebounds (7.8 RPG) and assists (2.6 APG) and received honorable mention for the All-Conferene team in the Missouri Valley Conference on Tuesday. Dantiel Daniels was named to the All-Freshman team as well.

Salukis head coach Chris Lowery recently spoke with SIUsalukis.com about the pressure to perform well heading into the tournament:

"I feel pressure every time we come out. I can't allow them to see pressure because then they'll respond to that. Me handling it the right way with them will allow them to handle it the right way, and that's kinda where we've been, especially with the new guys, because there's no way if we bring eight new guys in here and I'm tense, they wouldn't come back every game like they have, and they've really tried to focus on the things they need to focus on."

Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, Game 1

#8 Indiana State Sycamores (17-13, 8-10 MVC) vs. #9 Southern Illinois Salukis (8-22, 5-13 MVC)

Game Time, Date: 6:05 pm CT, Thursday, March 1, 2012

Location: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, MO

TV: -- MVC TV Network

Radio: Saluki Sports Network

The full tournament bracket can be found here.

For more on NCAA Hoops, check out the SB Nation NCAA hub at sbnation.com/NCAA-Basketball.

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Missouri Valley Tournament 2012: Bracket, Schedule And More

The 2012 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament begins on Thursday night and continues through Sunday afternoon. Get ready for Arch Madness.

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