Bradley meets Valpo in MVC finals
Valparaiso (19-15, 12-9) vs. Bradley (22-11, 13-7)
Missouri Valley Conference Tourney Championship, Enterprise Center, St. Louis; Sunday, 1:05 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: Valparaiso is set to face off against Bradley in the Championship of the MVC tournament. The teams split the regular season series at one win apiece. The teams last played on Feb. 22, when the Crusaders outshot Bradley from the field 55.6 percent to 43.5 percent and hit eight more 3-pointers en route to a 12-point victory.
PLENTY OF EXPERIENCE: Senior leadership has been on display for both of these teams. Darrell Brown, Nate Kennell and Koch Bar have combined to score 47 percent of Bradley’s points this season and 52 percent of the team’s points over its last five games. For Valparaiso, Javon Freeman-Liberty, John Kiser and Ryan Fazekas have combined to score 40 percent of the team’s points this season.
CREATING OFFENSE: Brown has made or assisted on 51 percent of all Bradley field goals over the last three games. The senior guard has accounted for 21 field goals and 17 assists in those games.
SCORING THRESHOLDS: Valparaiso is 6-0 when it limits opponents to 62 or fewer points, and 13-15 when opposing teams exceed 62 points. Bradley is 11-0 when holding opponents to 60 points or fewer, and 11-11 whenever teams score more than 60 on the Braves.
UNDEFEATED WHEN: The Braves are 11-0 when they hold opposing teams to 60 points or fewer and 11-11 when opponents exceed 60 points. The Crusaders are 6-0 when they hold opponents to 62 points or fewer and 13-15 whenever opponents exceed 62 points.
DID YOU KNOW: The stout Bradley defense has held opposing offenses to a field goal percentage of 39.4 percent, the 21st-lowest mark in Division I. Valparaiso has allowed opponents to shoot 45.4 percent through 34 games (ranking the Crusaders 296th).