Game #9-501: Drake Bulldogs vs. Bradley BravesMarch 7, 2013 7:05 pm
St. Louis, MO
Exactly one year ago, Drake and Bradley faced each other in the play-in round of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. These play-in games always occur on Thursday night. More precisely, they occur on the first Thursday of every March, since that's when the league holds Arch Madness. Last year, I wrote this recap
about the Drake/Bradley game. That was the second game of the 2012 play-in round, and after the first game, I used this recap
to show why the First Thursday in March was so important to me.
Great. We're all caught up now. If you read the links I just provided for you -- and, quite honestly, I didn't expect you to -- you'd have seen that I wrote about how much I loved Arch Madness. I wrote about how 2012 represented the 10th straight year I'd been to the tournament, and I wrote about how upsetting it was that I probably wouldn't get to see very many Arch Madness tournaments anymore. I'm graduating from the University of Missouri in fewer than two months. May 17th, to be exact. I don't know where I'll be after that, but I likely won't be in Missouri or anywhere near St. Louis. Even last year, I knew that. That's why I wrote in my recap that "after next year, I might never come back to this thing."
Well, it's "after next year" now. I hope I get to come back. I really, really, really hope I do. But in reality, I know I probably won't. So as Drake and Bradley tipped off on this first Thursday in March, I tried to recognize the significance of the moment. I tried to soak it all in.
I think Drake's coach felt the same way. As I write this recap, Mark Phelps has since been fired by the university. He won this game against Bradley, but his final game came the next day in a quarterfinal loss to Creighton. After inheriting Keno Davis' team -- which had earned a five seed in the NCAA Tournament during a dream run the year before -- Phelps never got the ball rolling with this program. His team played on the First Thursday of March during every one of his seasons, which means they never finished higher than seventh. That's unacceptable in the Missouri Valley, Unless Phelps takes another job as an assistant in the Valley, he'll probably never get to come back to Arch Madness either.
I got to stay a few days longer than Phelps, but hey, I feel your pain, coach. This is a special tournament. It's a shame we might not ever get to come back.
DRAKE 81, BRADLEY 66
DRAKE 15-16 (7-11) -- C. Hines 6-10 0-0 16; B. Simons 2-9 4-4 9; S. VanDeest 2-5 2-4 6; J. King 5-7 5-6 15; R. Carter 2-4 4-4 9; G. Ricks Jr. 5-9 0-0 14; J. Clarke 2-3 0-0 4; M. Mason 1-3 0-0 3; J. Jeffers 2-4 0-0 5. Totals 27-54 15-18 81.
BRADLEY 16-16 (7-11) -- J. Eastman 6-11 0-0 15; W. Egolf 5-11 2-3 15; W. Lemon Jr. 6-13 0-0 14; D. Simms-Edwards 1-10 0-0 2; T. Pickett 4-8 3-3 11; J. Crawford 3-6 0-0 7; J. Prosser 0-0 0-0 0; S. Shayok 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 26-61 5-6 66.
Three-point goals: DRKE 12-30 (J. Clarke 0-1; C. Hines 4-7; B. Simons 1-7; J. Jeffers 1-2; J. King 0-2; M. Mason 1-1; R. Carter 1-2; G. Ricks Jr. 4-8), BRAD 9-23 (W. Egolf 3-5; J. Eastman 3-7; D. Simms-Edwards 0-5; W. Lemon 2-3; J. Crawford 1-3); Rebounds: DRKE 30 (J. King 6), BRAD 29 (J. Eastman 8); Assists: DRKE 15 (R. Carter 4), BRAD 14 (W. Lemon 6); Total Fouls -- DRKE 11, BRAD 15; Fouled Out: DRKE-None; BRAD-T. Pickett.