MVC Tournament 2013 Championship: Creighton vs. Wichita State

Eric Francis

After splitting two regular season games, Creighton and Wichita State meet once again in the Missouri Valley Conference championship game Sunday.

The top two seeds in the Missouri Valley Conference, the Creighton Bluejays and the Wichita State Shockers, will face each other for the third time this season in the conference's championship game at 2:05 p.m. Sunday on CBS.

Wichita State (26-7, 12-6 MVC) handed Creighton (26-7, 13-5 MVC) its second loss of the season, back when the Bluejays were ranked No. 12 in the country. Carl Hall had 17 points and 13 rebounds in the game, and the loss started a Creighton slump in which the Bluejays lost five of eight games.

The Shockers don't have one dominant player. Cleanthony Early leads the team in scoring at 14.2 points per game, but five Wichita State players average eight or more points. The team relies on an aggressive defense. Wichita State smothered Illinois State in the MVC semifinals, holding the Redbirds to just 29 percent shooting.

Creighton, on the other hand, is very much reliant on one dominant player. Forward Doug McDermott, a finalist for the Wooden Award for the top player in college basketball, averages 23.3 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. He shoots 56 percent from the field and makes 48 percent of his three-pointers. McDermott scored 41 points for Creighton in the regular season finale, a win over Wichita State that evened the season series between the teams. The Bluejays entered the Missouri Valley tournament with four wins in their last five games after their tough stretch in January and February.

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