ISU hosts No. 16 Creighton in MVC Championship rematch

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ISU hosts No. 16 Creighton in MVC Championship rematch

The last time ISU and Creighton faced off, the Redbirds took the nationally-ranked Bluejays into overtime in the 2012 Missouri Valley Conference tournament championship.

But so much has changed for ISU since then.

In that Mar. 4 matchup, point guard Nic Moore led the Redbirds with 20 points. He has since transferred to SMU where he joined Tim Jankovich, ISU's coach from 2007-12.

Jankovich racked up 105 wins in his five seasons, earning four bids in the NIT tournament, but falling short of the NCAA tournament. ISU lost in the conference championship three times in Jankovich's tenure, including his first two seasons as head coach.

Dan Muller took over for Jankovich prior to the 2012-13 season in an attempt to rekindle the magic from his playing days. Muller headlined the last ISU team to make the NCAA tournament in 1998, earning the MVC Tournament Most Outstanding Player and leading the Redbirds to a first-round win over Tennessee before losing to Arizona in the second round.

Muller, who has the Redbirds out to a 9-4 start to the campaign, never lost to Creighton in his playing days. But CU has had ISU's number the past few seasons, winning 21 of the last 31 matchups between the two teams.

Doug McDermott, the 2011-12 Valley Player of the Year, headlines a Creighton attack with his 23.5 points per game. The 6-foot-8 junior poured in 33 points in the MVC Championship game last season and has the Bluejays off to a hot start this season with a 12-1 record and No. 16 ranking in the country.

Creighton marks the second nationally-ranked team ISU has faced this season, following a 69-66 loss at No. 5 Louisville Dec. 1.

ISU legend and Chicago native Osiris Eldridge will act as the Redbird Ambassador for Wednesday's matchup.

Osiris Eldridge @Osiris_Eldridge ISU 2Mrrw!!!! for the creighton game! Can't wait to see my Redbird family! 1 Jan 13 Reply Retweet Favorite
Eldridge, who made the All-Valley team three straight seasons from 2008-10, is ISU's career leader in three-pointers and ranks fifth in scoring in the program's history. In 2009, he was named MVC Tournament Most Outstanding Player, just the second time a player from the losing team took home the award.

Wednesday's matchup can be seen on CSN where available. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Wednesday on CSN: Illinois State and Loyola host in Valley doubleheader

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Wednesday on CSN: Illinois State and Loyola host in Valley doubleheader

The Missouri Valley Conference returns to CSN with live college hoops action on Wednesday night.

Looking to make a push for the NCAA tournament, Illinois State hosts Southern Illinois at 6 p.m. live on CSN. Then at 7 p.m. on CSN+, Loyola will host Drake in another Valley contest.

The Redbirds (23-5, 15-1) have won four straight games as they are co-leaders of the conference with Wichita State. Senior Deontae Hawkins leads Illinois State in scoring at 14.6 points per game.

Southern Illinois (15-14, 8-8) won on the road at Indiana State to snap a three-game losing streak as they're hoping for a better result after losing to Illinois State at home by seven earlier this season. Senior point guard Mike Rodriguez leads the Salukis in points and assists at 13.0 points and 4.1 assists per game.

In the second game, Loyola is trying to make a move up the conference standings as they host Drake.

The Ramblers (17-12, 7-9) lost to the Bulldogs on the road earlier this season as they enter this one having lost five of six games. Loyola is led by senior Milton Doyle as he leads the Ramblers in points and assists at 15.6 points and 4.3 assists per contest. 

Drake (7-21, 5-11) has lost seven straight games but they did get the best of the Ramblers in that 102-98 thriller earlier this season. The Bulldogs do have a talented junior in Reed Timmer as he's putting up 15.6 points per game.

Both of these games are important for Missouri Valley Conference tournament seeding purposes as Arch Madness begins on Thursday, March 2.

You can catch Thursday and Friday's MVC Tournament action live on CSN on March 2 and March 3.

Tuesday on CSN+: UIC hosts Green Bay

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Tuesday on CSN+: UIC hosts Green Bay

College hoops returns to CSN on Tuesday with some local action as UIC hosts Green Bay. You can watch this Horizon League matchup live on CSN+ at 7 p.m.

The Flames (14-14, 7-8) are coming off of a loss to Oakland as they try to make one more push up the conference standings. Junior big man Tai Odiase leads UIC at 11.3 points per game as the former Homewood-Flossmoor product is also a solid rim protector.

Green Bay (16-11, 10-5) is still fighting for one of the conference's top spots as they're coming off of a win over Milwaukee. The Phoenix already own a four-point win over UIC this season at home in a close game.

Senior guard Charles Cooper is averaging 13.0 points per game as he's been one of the better guards in the conference this season.