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Missouri Valley First Round Preview

March 5, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments

Missouri Valley First Round Previews

Preview by Neal Heston

(8) Indiana State vs. (9) Evansville
The opening game of the MVC Tournament will
feature two teams who are going through rough times.
Indiana State finally stopped an 11-game skid on
Monday by taking down Evansville, 71-56. That win gave
the Sycamores the regular season sweep over
Evansville, as ISU also ran away with a 20-point win
in December. Evansville went through a stretch last
month where they played very well and appeared to be
making a surge, but the Purple Aces have dropped five
of their last six contests in convincing fashion.

Tip off is set for noon Friday, and the victor
moves on to another noon contest against Southern
Illinois Saturday.

(7) Bradley vs. (10) Illinois State
Having swept the regular season series between
these two teams, Bradley should be the favorite to
advance out of the play-in round to take on Northern
Iowa Saturday. Not only have the Braves taken both
meetings this year, but they are also one of the
conference’s hottest teams heading into the
tournament. Bradley nearly handed Southern Illinois
its first loss in the MVC last week before losing
72-71 in the final seconds.

The Braves shouldn’t look ahead though as Illinois
State has pulled off some shockers of their own this
season, including wins at Northern Iowa and against
Southwest Missouri State. The Big Ten’s Illinois also
nearly became a victim to the Redbirds earlier this
season but came away with an overtime victory.
Bradley took the last meeting between these two squads
with little trouble, sending the Redbirds out of
Peoria with a 65-46 loss. Marcellus Sommerville and
James Gillingham both took charge for the Braves,
tacking on 22 and 19 points apiece.

Tip off on Friday is set for 2:30 p.m. The winner
of the contest moves on to the quarterfinals to take
on Northern Iowa Saturday.

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