The Indiana State men’s basketball team will be putting it all on the line this weekend in St. Louis, Missouri at the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. The Sycamores fell to Valparaiso in their first contest of the tournament last year by 22 points, even after defeating them in the regular season.
This year for Arch Madness, the Sycamores will be against the 15-16 Missouri State Bears Friday at the Enterprise center. This is a team that Indiana State both beat and lost to earlier in the season. On Feb. 1, 2020 the Sycamores defeated the Bears 78-68. Junior guard Tyreke Key led in scoring that game with 27 points. Junior forward Gaige Prim led the Bears in scoring with 23 points.
The Bears are the only team to taste victory at the Hulman Center besides Indiana State. They defeated the Sycamores 71-58 at home this season. Senior forward Lamont West led the Bears in that contest with 22 points.
“The biggest key for us is to just focus on one game at a time,” ISU men’s head basketball coach Greg Lansing said. “People get too caught up in it being a tournament and that causes people to start counting their eggs before they hatch.”
The tournament begins tonight with Drake facing off against Illinois State at 6 p.m. and Valparaiso will matchup against Evansville at 8:30 p.m. The winner of the first contest will move on to face No.1 Northern Iowa Panthers noon on Friday. The winner of the second game advances to the next round to face Loyola-Chicago at 6 p.m. Friday. If the Sycamores come out on top of Missouri State, they will be facing whoever wins the Loyola game.
“We’ve just been taking it day-by-day,” senior guard Jordan Barnes said. “We just have to play out game. We know how to do that. It’s just a matter of making it happen.
The MVC tournament starts tonight and ends Sunday. The first game for ISU is at 6 p.m. on Friday. The last game of the tournament will be at 1 p.m. Sunday. The winner of the entire tournament gets the chance to participate in the famed March Madness tournament.