Drake clinched its first NCAA tournament berth since 1971 with a 79-49 win over Illinois State in the Missouri Valley Championship game. Former walk-on Adam Emmenecker padded his conference player of the year status with 16 points and six assists to garner tournament MVP honors as well. The No. 20 Bulldogs shot 56% while improving to 28-4, writes the AP.
A 22-2 run to close out the first half sealed the deal for Drake, as Illinois State was unable to muster any sort of second-half comeback. Jonathan Cox added 20 points, as the Bulldogs completed a sweep of the MVC regular season and tourney titles. As for making the Big Dance, Emmenecker said, "this is the big deal."