All signs point to an NCAA tournament bid for the Braves.
Bradley has won four of its last five games, and has all the momentum it needs coming off a double-overtime victory over Drake.
That win should give the team confidence going into today’s game against Southern Illinois, a team the Braves have already beaten.
So we know Bradley is capable of winning today’s game, and assuming No. 1 seed Northern Iowa takes care of business, we will meet them tomorrow with a win.
I know UNI is one of two Missouri Valley Conference teams the Braves didn’t beat during the regular season, but they certainly could have beaten the Panthers.
Bradley lost those two games by five and three points each, and had opportunities to win both games.
Bradley got lucky having the Valley’s hottest team, Creighton, on the other side of the bracket, meaning we wouldn’t have to face them until the finals.
With our momentum, and the way the bracket looks, I like our chances to be crowned MVC Tournament champs.
When you are filling out your March Madness brackets in a few weeks, don’t expect to see Bradley’s name in one of the 65 slots.
Let’s say the Braves do make it past their quarterfinal game against Southern Illinois (a team which they split their regular season series with). That will still most likely put them up against Northern Iowa, the co-league champions.
Now, one argument for Bradley is that they were just barely edged out by the Panthers in both meetings this season, and this could finally be the game they can pull it off.
But those two games just reinforce why Bradley will not win this tournament – they are simply not a team that is going to pull off any big upsets.
In both of the UNI games, Bradley had leads throughout the game and let the contest slip away when it came down to the wire. Good teams will close those games out.
That, coupled with the fact that Bradley doesn’t have a legitimate inside scoring threat proves this will be a relatively short weekend for the Braves.