Day 2 here in St. Louis was much more fun than Day 1. No driving, no snow, no stress - just lots and lots of basketball. Oh, and I did a little radio in between.
Game 1 - No. 9 Drake vs. No. 1 SIU
Would Drake have anything left in the tank? Nope. No atmosphere at all. Arena was 85% Southern. Drake never had a shot.
Final Score: SIU cruises 71-59
Game 2 - No. 5 UNI vs. No. 4 Bradley
TOTALLY different story for game 2. Lots of energy in the building. UNI looked DEAD in the first half going down as much as 14 to Bradley. I made the statement on the air that the team might have quit on first year Head Coach Ben Jacobsen. However, that was not the case.
The Panthers clawed and scratched their way back into the game eventually tying the game up at 48. Bradley's ball and Will Franklin brought it up the court.
With the clock running down under 3 seconds, Franklin nearly turned the ball over but was able to grab it - cock it - and drill a desperation 3. And then act like he meant to do it the entire time, complete with the heart thump and crowd stare down.
Final score Bradley moves on to face SIU - 51-48.
Game 3 - No. 2 Creighton vs. No. 10 Indiana St.
Final Score - 59-38 Jays
I have said a lot already on this game but nice win for the Jays. Indiana St. simply ran out of gas. Some notes though:
- Dana Altman won his 17 tourney game at CU. Tied for No. 1
- 38 points sets a new tourney record for defense for CU. Old record was their's at 40 in '84
- Jays are now 14-2 as the No. 2 seed in the MVC Tourney
- In the first half - 28 of 32 points were scored by the guards
- Jays ended the first half on a 15-2 run
- ISU only scored 4 Fg's in the entire 2nd half and 18 points the whole half. (2 of which were last second 3's by ISU)
Game 4 - No. 6 Wichita St. vs. No. 3 Missouri St
Halftime as I write this: 34-32 Wichita.
This game is just like Game 2. The arena is FULL of Shocker and Bear fans. Loud cheers after every basket. Lots and lots of 3's being hit on both sides. The Jays wanted a game like this. Regardless who the Jays play - they will NOT have the same crowd advantage that they had today. Both MSU and WSU have brought A LOT of people.
(Again! Another cheerleader just got hurt. This time it's Wichita St that one goes down. Last year it was Southern.)
Shockers were 8 for 15 from 3 in the first half. 2-9 for the Bears. If that keeps up - it will be WSU vs. CU tomorrow. The Jays actually want that. A loss to WSU wouldn't hurt them because they will have gone farther than MSU. Put that with the sweep of the Bears, and the Jays are the 2nd team from the Valley in the tourney.
edit - 16,651 people at the Scott Trade Center...New Quarter Final Record! Semifinals should draw even more. Amazing, Amazing game....as I write this it's 64-60 MSU. Long way to go with 2:25 to play.....
Now a loss to MSU - that spells trouble for the Jays and the Committee.
See you tomorrow! Day 3 - Semifinal Saturday!