Lambs to the Slaughter?
(St. Louis, MO) – Evansville and Bradley were Thursday night winners in the opening round of the Missouri Valley Conference post-season tournament, but are they just fodder for the all powerful Illinois State Redbirds and Wichita State Shockers?
The combined league record of the co-champions was 34-0 against every other Valley team.
Illinois State swept Evansville in two relatively close games (12 and 10 points), and Wichita State buried Bradley by 34 at Koch Arena, but by a relatively close 15 points in Peoria.
Evansville head coach Marty Simmons says his team has a difficult task before them, but if they limit their turnovers and play solid team defense, he likes his teams chances.
The seventh seeded Braves have won four straight games and sophomore Duane Lautier-Ogunleye and junior Donte Thomas are confident that recent improvements point to a better result than the previous two losses. Head coach Brian Wardle is glad his players have hung together, believed in the process and are building a positive basketball culture in Peoria.
It’s not likely that either of these teams will pull off the upset, but both Evansville and Bradley are playing their best basketball at the right time.
The second day of Arch Madness is a special day. Four games and post season hopes are on the line in every game.