MVC Tournament semifinals

Coverage in The Wichita Eagle/Kansas.com

Today’s schedule

Creighton 64, Indiana State 43

Wichita State vs. Illinois State, 4 p.m.

  •  I would expect both teams to be on their best behavior in the wake of the regular-season game in Normal. There will be a lot of eyes on the handshakes, and both coaching staffs know that.  The Redbirds played it straight after last night’s win. “We’ve had some great games with them,” senior Jackie Carmichael said. “So we’re looking forward to going into (today) and competing with them at a high level.”  How will the emotion from WSU’s win (in which it won 68-67 after trailing 67-60 with 40 seconds to play) affect the Redbirds? The revenge desire could help, or it could take them out of their game. “It will be physical,” Redbirds coach Dan Muller said. “It will be intense.”
  • Ron Baker’s return appeared to rejuvenate WSU, at least for one night. As coach Gregg Marshall says, Baker does a lot of things well. His passing stands out most to me. The Shockers need a guy who thinks pass-first and can deliver them to the right man at the right place. Add in his shooting ability and Baker makes WSU a more complete offensive team. None of the Valley teams have seen him play, which might be an advantage. Baker’s talents are no news to Illinois State assistant Dana Ford, who coached at WSU last season.
  • First Tekele Cotton emerged from a shooting slump. Now it’s Jake White. White made 4 of 8 shots and scored nine points in Friday’s win over Missouri State. White is 18 of 26 in his past eight games after going 30 of 57 previous to that. “Just getting in the gym even more than I was before,” he said. “I would grab one of the managers and try and shoot before and after practices.” White is living on shots in the lane and 15-foot jumpers. He hasn’t attempted a three since Feb. 2 at Northern Iowa.
  • Carmichael scored 22 points on 9-of-16 shooting in the first meeting. WSU did a better job on him in Normal, holding him to 12 points on 3-of-12 shooting.
  • WSU’s RPI is ranked No. 39. It avoided the nightmare scenario of presenting the NCAA selection committee with a three-game losing streak. If there is any lingering doubt, and I don’t think there should be, a win today will erase that.