Creighton wins 2013 Missouri Valley Conference basketball tournament: Bluejays get automatic bid

Dilip Vishwanat

Creighton defeated Wichita State 68-65 to win the Missouri Valley Conference and they did it without a strong game from their superstar, Doug McDermott.

The Creighton Bluejays defeated the Wichita State Shockers in the third meeting between the two schools this season to win the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament and secure an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Wichita State held Creighton star Doug McDermott to 14 points, but still lost, 68-65.

Creighton led by 13 with five minutes remaining, but the Shockers made a late run to narrow the gap to one. However it proved to be too little to late, as the Bluejays held on for the win.

While Wichita State held the nation's top shooting team in check, they only shot 33.8% from the field themselves and couldn't hit from deep, going 7-of-22 from beyond the arc. With McDermott held in check, the rest of the Bluejays stepped up in a collaborative effort.

McDermott scored 25 and 41 in two previous meetings between the two schools, but Creighton showed on Sunday that it could win games without a standout performance from their star. They got out to 19-7 lead early despite starting 0-for-8 from the field and without McDermott scoring a point. McDermott didn't score until the 7:13 mark of the first half and never got into a groove.

Malcolm Armstead kept the Shockers in the game in the first half, scoring 18 of their 28 first half points as well as notching four first half steals. He finished with 28 points, nine rebounds and four steals.

The Bluejays showed they were the class of the MVC in St. Louis this weekend, beating Drake 65-53 and dispatching Indiana State 64-43 before defeating the Shockers on Sunday. Creighton secured the automatic bid with the win, but both the Bluejays and Shockers will be taking part in the NCAA Tournament. In the latest bracket projections, Creighton is listed as a seven seed and Wichita State as a nine.

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