Redbirds Face Panthers Again In Valley Quarterfinal
ISU begins tournament play Friday at 8:35 p.m.
ISU begins tournament play Friday at 8:35 p.m.

March 6, 2013

 No. 6 Illinois State vs. No. 3 Northern Iowa | Missouri Valley Conference Tournament - St. Louis
 Date  Friday, March 8
 Location
 St. Louis
 Tipoff
 8:35 p.m. (CST)
 Arena
 Scottrade Center
 Capacity
 20,948
 TV  Valley-TV: John Rooney - Play-by-Play | Mark Adams - Analyst
 Fox Sports Net Midwest  Comcast Ch. 57, DirecTV Ch. 671, Dish Ch. 418, AT&T U-Verse Ch. 748
 ESPN3  ESPN3.com (outside the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska)
 Radio  WJBC 1230-AM, 93.7 FM: Dick Luedke - Play-by-Play | Mike Matthews - Analyst
 Game Notes  Illinois State Notes | Northern Iowa Notes
 Tournament Central  Illinois State Tournament Central | Valley Tournament Central
 Tournament Preview  RedbirdHD.tv Tournament Preview Video
 Vote For Tyler Brown  Click Here To Vote For Tyler Brown In The Dark Horse Dunker Competition

QUICK HITS ABOUT #REDBIRDHOOPS

  • In a rematch of last year's Missouri Valley Conference Tournament quarterfinal and the 2009 Valley Tournament Championship Game, Illinois State owns a 5-3 record all-time against Northern Iowa in the postseason event.
  • ISU enters the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament as the No. 6 seed for only the second time since joining the league in 1982. The Redbirds were also the No. 6 seed in 2005, when ISU lost in the quarterfinal to Creighton.
  • The Redbirds are 20-7 (.741) in Missouri Valley Conference Tournament quarterfinal games.
  • Since the tournament moved to the Scottrade Center, the Redbirds are 20-17 in the Valley postseason event.
  • Eight Illinois State players have participated in a Valley Tournament game: Jackie Carmichael (4), Anthony Cousin (2), Jon Ekey (2), John Wilkins (2), Bryant Allen (1), Tyler Brown (1), Johnny Hill (1), Zeke Upshaw (1).
  • Jackie Carmichael is a Valley First-Team selection and All-Defensive Team honoree.
  • Tyler Brown is a Valley Second-Team choice and Johnny Hill is a Most-Improved Team selection.
  • This is the first time since 2010 that the Redbirds have had two players earn All-Valley accolades.
  • Illinois State leads the all-time series against Northern Iowa, 36-28, with the Redbirds losing both season meetings.
  • Tyler Brown has averaged a team-best 22.9 points over the last 10 games, with double-figures in the last 11.
  • Jackie Carmichael's 9.4 rebounds per game not only leads the league, but also ranks 30th in the nation.
  • Jackie Carmichael's 14 double-doubles this season ranks 13th in the nation. He has 34 career double-doubles.
  • Tyler Brown is a finalist for the "State Farm Dark Horse Dunker" competition. He is now in the "Final Four."
  • Jackie Carmichael is a finalist for the Lou Henson Award, given to the top mid-major college basketball player.
  • First-year head coach Dan Muller became the 19th men's basketball coach in ISU history on May 8, 2012.
  • Illinois State is in its 43rd season as a NCAA Division I program, and during that time, the Redbirds have only had eight losing seasons. With a 17-14 mark this season, ISU has ensured another winning year.
  • Illinois State earned a berth to a postseason tournament for the 18th time last season with a National Invitational Tournament bid, marking the 12th spot in the NIT field, including NIT berths in four of the last five seasons.

    ABOUT THE NORTHERN IOWA PANTHERS

  • The University of Northern Iowa is located in Cedar Falls, Iowa., and has an enrollment of 12,273. The Panthers compete at the NCAA Division I level and are members of the Missouri Valley Conference.
  • The Panthers return four starters from last year's team which finished 20-14 with a 9-9 Valley record (T3rd). Northern Iowa was picked to finish third in the Valley this season according to the 2012 Missouri Valley Conference Preseason Poll, which is exactly where UNI finished.
  • Northern Iowa's Anthony James was a Valley Second-Team selection.
  • Illinois State leads the all-time series against Northern Iowa, 36-28, but the Panthers have won 10 of the last 12 meetings, including two-straight.
  • Illinois State owns a 5-3 record all-time against Northern Iowa in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. ISU beat Northern Iowa, 54-42, in last season's Valley Tournament quarterfinal (March 2).
  • Head coach Dan Muller owned a 7-3 record against Northern Iowa as a player from 1994-98.

    WHERE TO WATCH: No. 6 ISU VS. No. 3 NORTHERN IOWA
    Fox Sports Midwest (Valley-TV): Comcast Ch. 57, DirecTV Ch. 671, Dish Ch. 418, AT&T U-Verse Ch. 748
    ESPN3.com (outside the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska)

    LAST MEETING: REDBIRDS FALL AT UNI; STILL CLINCH NO. 6 SEED
    CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (March 2, 2013) - Even though Illinois State lost its regular-season finale, 80-72, Saturday night at Northern Iowa, the Redbirds still clinched the No. 6 seed in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, thanks to Southern Illinois' victory at Drake. ISU (17-14, 8-10 MVC) avoided the play-in game, and will face No. 3 Northern Iowa (18-13, 11-7 MVC) again in the tournament quarterfinals, Friday, March 8, at 8:35 p.m. Tyler Brown became the 41st member of Illinois State's 1,000-point club, as the senior guard finished with a game-high 28 points against the Panthers. Johnny Hill also reached double-figures, with 14 points, while Brown grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. Jackie Carmichael was plagued by foul trouble and limited to five points and six rebounds. Northern Iowa featured four players in double-figures, including Anthony James, who netted a team-best 19 points. Seth Tuttle and Jake Koch each contributed double-doubles in the winning effort. The Redbirds shot 50 percent from the field, but were outrebounded, 42-26. The Panthers also attempted 15 more free throws than ISU.

    THE QUARTERS PAY OFF
    In previous tournaments, Illinois State has fared well in the quarterfinals. The Redbirds boast a 20-7 (.741) record when playing in the quarterfinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.

    IT'S MULLER TIME
    The last time the Illinois State men's basketball team won the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament, Dan Muller was a senior leader on the floor. He hopes to repeat that accomplishment, this time as the head coach. Muller was 8-2 in the Valley Tournament as a player, with Illinois State winning the championship during his junior and senior years, in 1997 and 1998. In his first two seasons, as a freshman and sophomore, the Redbirds won their quarterfinal matchups before falling in the semifinals.

    CARMICHAEL'S LAST CHANCE
    Senior forward Jackie Carmichael is the only Redbird participating in his fourth Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. Carmichael, along with three other seniors, has one last shot at a Valley Tournament title. The Manhattan, Kan., native has started five out of six tournament games, averaging 12.0 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.2 blocks. Carmichael has also shot 50.0 percent (23-for-46) from the field. His five blocks and 15 rebounds in ISU's quarterfinal win last year against Northern Iowa (March 2, 2012) both rank No. 1 in their respective Illinois State single-game tournament categories. Carmichael averaged a double-double of 15.0 points, 11.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks during ISU's three-game run in last season's Valley Tournament, for which he was named an All-Tournament Team selection.

    CLOSE, BUT NO TITLE
    No other team has made it to the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship game more times in the past five years than Illinois State. However, in ISU's three championship-game appearances during the five-year span, the Redbirds have not taken home the title. Illinois State has come close, dropping two final games in overtime, including last year's 83-79 loss to Creighton. The Redbirds' last Valley Tournament title came in 1998, with a win against Missouri State.

    REGULAR-SEASON RECOGNITION
    After starting 0-6 in the Missouri Valley Conference, the Redbirds bounced back to finish in sixth place with an 8-10 league record. Three individuals were also recognized for their efforts this season, including Jackie Carmichael, Tyler Brown and Johnny Hill. Carmichael received first-team and all-defensive team recognition, and Brown garnered second-team accolades. Hill was named a member of the most-improved team. Carmichael and Brown teamed up to become the first all-conference ISU duo since 2010.

    DOWNTOWN BROWN
    Senior guard Tyler Brown will try to stay hot in downtown St. Louis, after finishing the regular season on a scoring tear. Brown started the Valley season with a modest 9.5 points averaged during the first four games. But, after being held scoreless at Missouri State (Jan. 8), Brown bounced back to more-than double his productivity to average 21.2 points per game during the remaining 14 contests. During that span, Brown tallied nine 20-plus point performances, with 11-consecutive double-figure efforts, dating back to Jan. 26.

    JOINING THE 1,000-POINT CLUB
    Senior guard Tyler Brown became the 41st member of Illinois State's 1,000-point club, as he finished with a game-high 28 points against the Northern Iowa Saturday night. He is also just the third player in program history to reach 1,000 points in his first two seasons as a Redbird, after transferring to ISU from Marshalltown Community College (467 points as a junior and 542 points as a senior). The only other two players to accomplish that feat were Doug Collins (743, 847) and Tarise Bryson (465, 578). Brown joins teammate Jackie Carmichael on the list, who currently ranks eighth in scoring,with 1,543 points.

    MR. DOUBLE-DOUBLE
    Redbird senior forward Jackie Carmichael earned his 34th-career double-double and 14th of the season during Illinois State's Senior Night win over Missouri State (Feb. 27). He is in third place on the ISU career double-doubles list, behind Jeff Wilkins (42) and Ron deVries (50). Carmichael is also the Valley's active leader for career double-doubles, followed by Doug McDermott of Creighton, and Carmichael's 14 double-doubles this season rank 13th in the nation.

    TWO 35+ POINT GAMES
    Tyler Brown tallied his second 35-plus point game of the season, with 35 points in ISU's loss at Utah State (Feb. 23). Brown is the only player in the Missouri Valley Conference, and one of just eight players in the country, to net 35 or more points in two different games this season. He also accomplished the feat with 36 points in ISU's Nov. 24 loss to Northwestern.

    OFFENSE EXPLODES AGAINST BEARS
    After being held below 40 percent from the field in their previous three games, the Redbirds shot above 50 percent for the first time during the Valley season in the Feb. 27 win over Missouri State, finishing with a 59.2 percent clip. It was ISU's best percentage since shooting 62.1 percent in the season-opener against UC Santa Barbara (Nov. 12). Also, with a 39-point advantage at the 3:52 mark of the second half versus MSU, the Redbirds matched their largest margin of the season.

    DOUBLE DOUBLE-DOUBLES
    Tyler Brown and Jackie Carmichael teamed up for the first ISU multi-player double-double this season in Illinois State's BracketBusters loss at Utah State (Feb. 23). Brown grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds during his 35-point performance, while Carmichael collected 20 points and 10 rebounds. Two players each recorded double-doubles in the same game on three occasions last year, with it last occurring Jan. 28, when Carmichael and John Wilkins earned double-doubles against Southern Illinois.

    THE DIFFERENCE IS DEFENSE
    "Defense wins games" might be a cliché, but it is the truth when it comes to the ISU men's basketball team this season. During ISU's eight Valley victories, the Redbirds have held the opposition to 61.2 points per game, compared to the 75.4 points per game averaged during ISU's Valley losses (a difference of 14.2 points). Illinois State has also limited the opposition to 38.7 percent shooting in league wins, contrasted with a 45.6 percent clip allowed in conference losses (a 6.9 percent difference).

    ACCEPTING CHARITY
    Part of Illinois State's recent success can be attributed to success at the foul line. In Illinois State's eight Valley victories, the Redbirds have averaged 18.9 free throws on 25.1 attempts. In contrast, ISU averaged 13.3 free throws (a difference of 5.6) on 17.4 attempts (a difference of 7.7) during the Redbirds' 10 conference losses. Illinois State made a season-high 32 charity shots on 36 attempts in the win at Drake Feb. 6, which was the most by ISU in a game since the Redbirds made 33 versus SIUE on Nov. 14, 2010. ISU then went 30-for-33 at the line in the loss to Wichita State Feb. 17. The Redbirds' 5-for-7 free throw effort at Evansville Feb. 20 was the second-fewest makes and attempts by ISU this season. ISU is now 13-2 this season when the Redbirds shoot more free throws than their opponent.

    STEALING VICTORIES
    With 10 steals recorded during Illinois State's win over Missouri State (Feb. 27), the Redbirds improved to 8-0 this season when they record 10 or more steals in a game. It marked the third time that ISU has collected double-digit steals in a Missouri Valley Conference game this year.

    CLIMBING THE HILL
    Redbird sophomore guard Johnny Hill is Illinois State's most improved player this season. As a result, he was named to the Valley's Most-Improved Team. Hill has played in 31 games, including 24 starts, after playing in just 28 games with no starts last season. This year, he is averaging 7.8 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 25.0 minutes per game, compared to 2.0 points, 1.0 rebound and 0.5 assists in 7.4 minutes per game last season (an increase of 5.8 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.2 steals and 17.6 minutes).

    CARMICHAEL 1 OF 12
    Jackie Carmichael is one of just 12 players in MVC history with 1,500 career points and 900 career rebounds. He notched both milestones in ISU's game at Evansville Feb. 20. Carmichael currently ranks ninth on the Illinois State career-points list, with 1,543, and fourth on the career-rebounding list with 927. He is chasing Jerry McGreal on the scoring list, who is in eighth place with 1,542 points, while Fred Marberry is in third place, ahead of Carmichael, on the rebounding list, with 933.

    CARMICHAEL A LOU HENSON AWARD FINALIST
    ISU senior forward Jackie Carmichael is one of 25 national finalists for the 2013 Lou Henson Award, announced by CollegeInsider.com. The award is presented annually to the top mid-major player in college basketball. Carmichael is currently averaging 17.4 points and a Missouri Valley Conference-best 9.4 rebounds per game, while shooting 52.8 percent from the field and 69.2 percent at the free throw line.

    BROWN MOVES TO "FINAL FOUR" OF DUNK CONTEST
    Redbird senior guard Tyler Brown won his way into the "Final Four" of the State Farm Dark Horse Dunker Competition, after edging "Elite 8" competitor Ra'Shad James of Northwood Monday. Fans must now cast their daily votes to help Brown win his way into the contest's championship round, with voting ending next Monday, March 11, at noon CST. The winner of the entire contest will participate in the Denny's Slam Dunk Competition at the State Farm College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships in Atlanta, April 4 at 6 p.m. CST, on ESPN. Brown is now facing Stephen F. Austin's Hal Bateman.

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