By: Sammy Stava
No. 3 seeded Illinois State was looking to get back to the MVC Tournament Championship game from a season ago. The Redbirds needed one more win, but first they had to get past No. 2 seeded Southern Illinois. Just like every game in this year’s Arch Madness, it has been tough to grind out a win, for every team.
The same went for Southern Illinois and Illinois State today, because this one went more than 40 minutes. It was the first overtime game in this year’s MVC Tournament, and as a result, Illinois State is heading back to the MVC Tournament Championship Game with a 76-68 OT win over Southern Illinois.
Phil Fayne led Illinois State with 26 and the Redbirds, no stranger to overtime success, improved to 5-1 in OT games this season. No stranger to MVC Tournament success either, Illinois State improved to 44-32 all-time in MVC Tournament games, the most by any Missouri Valley school in tournament history.
This will be the first No. 1 vs No. 3 seed in the MVC Tournament Championship Game since 2011, where No. 3 seeded Indiana State beat No. 1 seeded Missouri State.
Illinois State is hoping for that scenario again as the No. 3 seed. Up next for the Redbirds? A date with No. 1 seeded Loyola, with an automatic-bid to the NCAA Tournament on the line.
Every game so far in this year’s Arch Madness has been decided by 10 points or less. 1999 was the last time happened.
Sunday at 1:00 ought to be fun.