Wednesday on CSN: Missouri Valley with three games on CSN/CSN+


Wednesday on CSN: Missouri Valley with three games on CSN/CSN+

The Missouri Valley has a busy day night of basketball on CSN and CSN+ on Wednesday night.

It starts at 6 p.m. with Southern Illinois hosting Wichita State on CSN. After that game on CSN, Illinois State will travel to Missouri State in a game that will air live at 8 p.m.

CSN+ will also air another live Missouri Valley matchup at 7 p.m. as Northern Iowa hosts Bradley.

[RELATED - Chicago native Paris Lee doing all he can to make sure Illinois State's NCAA Tournament bubble doesn't burst]

Southern Illinois (14-13, 7-7) is trying to compete for the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament as they get a big opportunity to host a conference leader. Senior guard Mike Rodriguez leads the Salukis in points (12.9 ppg) and assists (4.2 apg).

Wichita State (23-4, 13-1) are not only fighting for the conference regular season title but also a potential NCAA tournament bid. The Shockers are a balanced group led by Markis McDuffie (11.8 ppg). 

The second game on CSN has Illinois State going to Missouri State.

The Redbirds (21-5, 13-1) will have a tough one on the road as they only beat the Bears by three in early January at home. Deontae Hawkins is leading the team in scoring at 14.4 points per game as Illinois State tries to adjust to playing without MiKyle McIntosh. 

Missouri State (15-12, 6-8) has lost three straight games. Junior forward Alize Johnson leads the Bears in scoring at 15.4 points per game. 

The third game of the night will be on CSN+ as Northern Iowa is hosting Bradley at 7 p.m.

The Panthers (13-12, 8-6) have won three straight games as they've made a push into third place in the Valley. Senior Jeremy Morgan (15.4 points, 6.1 rebounds per game) is having a strong season as he's looking like an all-conference player.

Bradley (9-18, 4-10) beat Northern Iowa, 72-61, the last two time these teams met in Peoria as the Braves have lost two straight games. Freshman guard Darrell Brown leads the team in scoring at 12.2 points per game. 

Clayton Custer's 'good bounce' sends Loyola to Sweet 16

Clayton Custer's 'good bounce' sends Loyola to Sweet 16

UMBC may have stolen the most attention from the first round of the NCAA Tournament, but Loyola became the early talk of Saturday's games by advancing to the Sweet 16 with another dramatic finish.


It wasn't the pure exhilaration of Donte Ingram’s last-second game-winning 3-pointer in the first round win against Miami, but the Ramblers knocked off Tennessee 63-62 (a one-point difference from the 64-62 score against Miami) with another exciting finish.

This time it was Clayton Custer sinking a jumper, one that hit rim, then backboard and some more rim before going in, with 3.6 seconds left and the Ramblers surviving a last gasp three attempt by Jordan Bone to get the win.

“The ball bounced up on the rim and I got a good bounce like that,” Custer said of his game-winning shot. “The only thing I could think about after the game is that’s all the hard work that you put in to get in a situation like this. All those hours, waking up early in the morning and working out. For all that hard work to come up to that lucky bounce is worth it.”

Custer’s shot may not have been the cleanest looking, but teammate Ben Richardson said it’s nothing new.

“I’ve seen him make a 1-2 dribble pull-up probably a million times,” Richardson said. “I have so much faith in that shot just because I’ve seen him make it. When we’re just working out and stuff I see him make it at maybe a 98 percent clip so before games I’m always like ‘Get to that 1-2 pull-up, get to that 1-2 pull-up.’... It’s fitting that he hits a big shot going 1-2 pull-up, like we’ve been doing in the gym for our whole lives working on that shot.”

Loyola, an 11 seed, is in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1985. The Ramblers will face either Cincinnati or Nevada next, looking for a first trip to the Elite 8 since winning the national title in 1963. Oh, by the way, Loyola beat Cincinnati in the 1963 championship game.

Former Simeon players come up clutch in Thursday's March Madness action

Former Simeon players come up clutch in Thursday's March Madness action

It's no secret that Simeon routinely churns out some of the best basketball talent in the country. From Nick Anderson to Derrick Rose to Jabari Parker, the Wolverines are notorious for the impact their former student-athletes have at the collegiate and professional ranks.

Thursday, former Simeon stars Zach Norvell (Gonzaga) and Donte Ingram (Loyola) hit clutch shots to lead their respective schools to victory in the NCAA Tournament Round of 64. 

Norvell, who graduated from Simeon in 2016, buried a go-ahead three with about 20 seconds remaining in No. 4 Gonzaga's 68-64 win over No. 13 UNC Greensboro. 

Norvell, a 6-foot-5 redshirt freshman, averaged 12.2 points in 26.1 minutes for Gonzaga this season. He finished with 15 points on 3-of-12 shooting (2-of-8 from three) in 34 minutes Thursday. He was ranked 83rd in the ESPN 100 for the Class of 2016.

In the biggest upset of the day, Ingram and No. 11 Loyola knocked off No. 6 Miami 64-62. Ingram hit a three with less than a second remaining, securing Loyola's first NCAA tournament win since 1985. 

Ingram is a 6-foot-6 guard/forward who graduated from Simeon in 2014. He averaged 11.3 points and 6.5 rebounds in 30.7 minutes this season for Loyola.

Ingram finished with 13 points on 5-of-14 shooting in 34 minutes for Loyola Thursday. He shot just 3-of-8 from distance, though one of those conversions obviously came at a perfect time for the Ramblers. 

Norvell and Ingram both have Friday off before their respective schools are back in action Saturday. Norvell and Gonzaga will face-off against No. 5 Ohio State in Boise, while Ingram and Loyola will play No. 3 Tennessee in Dallas.