Eagles tip off NCAA II Tournament Saturday

Eagles tip off NCAA II Tournament Saturday
USI Basketball (Source: WFIE)

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) -University of Southern Indiana Men’s Basketball tips off the 2020 NCAA Division II Tournament and the Midwest Regional Saturday at 11 a.m. (CDT) in Indianapolis, Indiana. The regional is being hosted by 15th-ranked and top-seeded University of Indianapolis.

The Screaming Eagles (22-8), the sixth seed and the defending NCAA II Midwest Region champion, start national tournament action with 19th-ranked and third-seeded University of Missouri-St. Louis (27-5). USI has never played UMSL in the NCAA II Midwest Regional, but leads the all-time series, 39-14, despite going 1-2 against the Tritons this season.

In addition to the USI-UMSL match-up, the bottom half of the bracket features second-seeded Truman State University (24-6) against 16th-ranked and seventh-seeded Ferris State University (27-6) in the 1:30 p.m. (CDT) contest Saturday. Truman won the GLVC Tournament championship Sunday with a win over UMSL.

The top half of the regional bracket includes UIndy taking on eighth-seeded Walsh University (25-6), the Great Midwest Athletic Conference champion, in the 4 p.m. (CDT) contest. The final match-up features fourth-seeded Michigan Tech University (23-8) battling against fifth-seeded Bellarmine University (20-8) at 6:30 p.m. (CDT) on day 1 of the regional.

Tickets prices are $15 adult/$10 student-youth-senior for the four games on Saturday and $10 adult/$5 student-youth-senior for the semifinals Sunday and the championship game Tuesday.

Fan also can purchase tickets on-line though the University of Indianapolis. Post-season game coverage for USI Men’s Basketball, including live stats, video, and audio broadcasts, is available at GoUSIEagles.com. The games also can be heard on ESPN 97.7FM and 95.7FM The Spin.

USI Men’s Basketball Week 17 Quick Notes:

USI hopes to defend NCAA II Midwest Region crown. USI enters NCAA II Tournament play looking to defend its NCAA II Midwest Region crown. The Screaming Eagles defeated fourth-seeded Ashland University; top-seeded Lewis University on a last second shot; and Bellarmine University after trailing from a 16-point deficit to win the regional last year. The 2019 regional title was USI’s fourth in men’s basketball. Senior guard/forward Kobe Caldwell is the top-returning scorer from last year’s regional at 10.3 points per game. Junior guard Mateo Rivera and junior forward Emmanuel Little averaged 9.3 and 9.0 points per game respectively.

Last time USI was at UIndy for the regional. The last time USI played in the NCAA II Midwest Regional at UIndy’s Nicoson Hall was 1997, losing a triple-overtime game to Quincy University, 125-118. Guard Marc Hostetter led the six Eagles in double-digits with 36 points (10-18 FG; 3-5 3FG; 13-16 FT) in 51 minutes of action.

Eagles win one/lose one in GLVC Tournament. USI won its GLVC Tournament opening game with Bellarmine, 76-73, but lost the semifinal contest versus the 16th-ranked University of Missouri-St. Louis, 78-63. Junior guard/forward Clayton Hughes led Eagle scorers with 16.0 points per game, while senior guard Joe Laravie posted 13.0 points per contest.

Big Scorers. Senior guard Joe Laravie posted a season-high 21 points in the win over Bellarmine in the GLVC Tournament, becoming the third Eagles to surpass the 20-point plateau. Junior forward Josh Price has gone over 20 points six times with a high of 25 points, while junior forward Emmanuel Little has nine games over 20 with a high of 31.

USI vs. Midwest Regional field this season. USI is 3-6 this season versus the NCAA II Midwest Regional field (2-2 at home; 0-3 on the road; 1-1 on neutral court). USI junior forward Emmanuel Little leads the Eagles with 15.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, while junior guard Mateo Rivera follows with 10.9 points per contest.

Leading the Eagles overall. Junior forward Emmanuel Little leads USI this season with 16.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, while junior forward Josh Price is posting 12.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per contest. Junior guard Mateo Rivera and senior guard Joe Laravie also are reaching double-digits in scoring with 11.7 and 10.3 points per game in 2019-20.

Double-doubles in 2019-20. Junior forward Emmanuel Little leads the team with 10 double-doubles after his 10-point, 12-rebound performance versus UMSL. Junior forward Josh Price follows with nine double-doubles in 2019-20.

USI vs. UMSL. USI will try to even the season series with UMSL when they face off in the first round of the NCAA II Midwest Regional. UMSL won at home and in the GLVC Tournament, while USI took the contest at Screaming Eagles Arena.

USI vs. lower bracket. USI leads the all-time series versus Truman State University, 7-2, after winning the only meeting of 2019-20 at home, while holding an 8-2 all-time series lead with Ferris State.

Courtesy: USI Athletics

Copyright 2020 WFIE. All rights reserved.