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MVC Tourney set: ISU faces Murray St.-Missouri St. winner on Friday

Mar. 4—The path to a Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title has been laid out for the Indiana State Sycamores.

MVC officials announced the seeding and schedule Monday morning for the tournament, which runs from Thursday through Sunday in St. Louis' Enterprise Center.

The Sycamores earned a first-day bye in the tournament. They'll face the winner of Thursday's first game between No. 8-seeded Murray State and No. 9-seeded Missouri State. If ISU wins that game, it will face on Saturday the winner of Friday's game between fourth-seeded Northern Iowa and the winner of Thursday's No. 5 Belmont-No. 12 Valparaiso duel.

ISU men's basketball hoisted the regular season trophy last Sunday, winning the MVC regular-season title outright with an 89-77 win against Murray State in Hulman Center.

The Sycamores finished the regular season 26-5 and 17-3 in the MVC to secure sole possession of first place and the No. 1 seed for the MVC Tournament. ISU swept the regular-season series with its two potential tournament opponents — Murray State (a 72-63 win Jan. 21 in Kentucky, and Sunday's victory) and Missouri State (an 88-66 win Jan. 16 in Terre Haute, and a 73-71 win Feb. 10 in Springfield).{/span}

Besides ISU, all other seeds in the MVC Tournament, sans the No. 4 and No. 5 positions, were determined following games of Sunday. Belmont and UNI tied for fourth in the regular-season race with 12-8 records, and the two teams split with one another during the season.

UNI earned the No. 4 seed based on a better NET rating on Monday, March 4. The Panthers rose to 109 (from 116) following its win at Southern Illinois, while Belmont's NET rating today is 118 (up three spots from 121 after a home victory against Evansville on Sunday).

The only other tie in the standings was for 7th place — Illinois State and Murray State both finished with 9-11 marks. The Redbirds earned the No. 7 seed by virtue of its sweep against Murray State during the season.

MVC Men's Basketball Tournament

Thursday

All times Eastern

1 p.m. — GAME 1: No. 8 Murray State vs. No. 9 Missouri State

3:30 p.m.— GAME 2: No. 5 Belmont vs .No. 12 Valparaiso)

7 p.m. — GAME 3: No. 7 Illinois State vs. No. 10 Evansville

9:30 p.m.— GAME 4: No. 6 Southern Illinois vs. No. 11 UIC

Friday

1 p.m. — GAME 5: No. 1 Indiana State vs. Game 1 winner

3:30 p.m.— GAME 6: No. 4 UNI vs. Game 2 winner

7 p.m. — GAME 7: No. 2 Drake vs. Game 3 winner

9:30 p.m.— GAME 8: No. 3 Bradley vs. Game 4 winner

Saturday

3:30 p.m. — GAME 9: Game 5 & 6 winners

6 p.m.— GAME 10: Game 7 & 8 winners

Sunday

2:10 p.m. — MVC Championship Game (CBS)

Note: Times of second games of sessions are approximate