ST. LOUIS -- I came here to see a championship game between Wichita State and Creighton.
Those are the MVC's two nationally ranked teams.
Those are the MVC's two best teams.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the title game everybody expected to watch Sunday. The 15th-ranked Shockers that handled Illinois State twice during the regular season lost to Illinois State in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament semifinals. So now it's the Redbirds vs. the 25th-ranked Bluejays for the title here at the Scottrade Center, and if Illinois State pulls one more upset the MVC will be a three-bid league.
"I could not possibly be more proud of these guys," Illinois State coach Tim Jankovich said after Saturday's 65-64 victory. "It was one of the toughest, hardest-fought performances of any team I've ever been around."
Illinois State is 0-2 against Creighton this season.
That should be noted.
But, remember, the Redbirds were 0-2 against Wichita State, too.
-- Gary Parrish