The Missouri Valley Conference Tournament got underway on Thursday night with a pair of opening round games.
With six teams receiving automatic byes into the quarterfinal round, the conference awaited two more winners from the opening round. Well with victories on Thursday night, both Drake and Missouri State advanced through to the next round where they will face the top two teams in the conference, respectively.
Starting first with the 8/9 match-up in the bracket, Drake advanced into the quarterfinal round thanks in large part to a strong night on the offensive end. A pair of 40+ point halves allowed the Bulldogs to build up a double-digit lead that they used to their advantage in an 81-66 victory over Bradley. Both teams had finished the regular season with identical 7-11 marks within the Missouri Valley Conference, but on Thursday night it was Drake that got the best of the Braves to advance forward.
Drake will square off against Creighton in the next round and face the difficult of dealing with two-time conference Player of the Year, Doug McDermott.
In the other opening round contest, Missouri State advanced via a 61-53 win over lowly Southern Illinois. Marcus Marshall led the way with 18 points in the victory for the Bears who must now face Wichita State in the quarterfinals.
Take a look below at the match-ups and times for the quarterfinal round of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament:
Mar. 8, 1:05pm (EST): Creighton vs. Drake
Mar. 8, 3;30pm (EST): Evansville vs. Indiana State
Mar. 8, 7:05pm (EST): Wichita State vs. Missouri State
Mar. 8, 9:30pm (EST): Northern Iowa vs. Illinois State
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