The Missouri Valley Conference tournament was turned on its head as the top three seeds were sent packing while the bottom three seeds all reached the semifinals. Regular season champion Northern Iowa, second seed Loyola-Chicago and third seed Indiana State all suffered losses to eighth seed Drake, seventh seed Valparaiso and sixth seed Missouri State, respectively.
Drake 77, Northern Iowa 56
Roman Penn scored 26 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out eight assists as Drake (20-13) shot 59 percent from the field as they became the first eight seed to defeat a top seed in tournament history, routing regular-season champion Northern Iowa (25-6). Penn scored 12 of those 26 during a game-changing 18-0 run that gave the Bulldogs a 67-48 lead. The Panthers were undone by poor shooting from three-point range, going just 5 of 25 while Trae Berhow, averaging more than 13 a game, went scoreless. A.J. Green led UNI with 19 points.
Bradley 64, Southern Illinois 59
Ja'Shon Henry's three-point play broke a 59-59 tie and defending champion Bradley fought back from a nine-point second half deficit as they were the only higher seed to win in the quarterfinal round. Darrell Brown led the fourth seeded Braves (21-11) with 19 while Elijah Childs added 16 and had five of Bradley's 12 blocks as the Braves outrebounded Southern Illinois (16-16) 43-29. Lance Jones led the fifth-seeded Salukis with 20 points as they finished the season losing six of their final seven games.
Valparaiso 74, Loyola-Chicago 73 (OT)
John Kizer drove the left side of the paint, drawing two defenders and passed to Eron Gordon for the winning layup with 3.3 seconds left in overtime as seventh seed Valparaiso (18-15) shocked second seed Loyola-Chicago. Kizer finished with 12 points, eight rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocked shots as the Crusaders fought back from an 18-point deficit. Ryan Fazekas led Valparaiso with 18 points, Daniel Sackey added 13 with six rebounds and Donovan Clay had 10 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and three blocks. Keith Clemons led Loyola with a career-high 28 points, but the Ramblers shot just 1 of 10 from the floor in overtime.
Missouri State 78, Indiana State 51
In the nightcap, Gaige Prim led sixth seed Missouri State (16-16) with 17 points, one of five Bears players in double figures as they shot 50 percent from the field and converted 16 Indiana State turnovers into 21 points. Jordan Barnes and Jake LaRavia led the Sycamores (18-12) with 14 points apiece. Tulio da Silva and Lamont West chipped in with 14, Keandre Cook had 13 and Isiaih Mosley 10, whose putback put Missouri State in front for good. The Bears held Indiana State to 34 percent from the floor.
The semifinal matchups are set with eighth seed Drake facing fourth seed Bradley in the first semifinal while seventh seed Valparaiso meets sixth seed Missouri State in the second semifinal with the winners meeting Sunday for the championship an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.