Arch Madness: Wichita State 71, Illinois State 51
Sunday, March 5, 2017
Arch Madness: Wichita State 71, Illinois State 51

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Conner Frankamp scored 19 points and Markis McDuffie added 16 as No. 21 Wichita State beat Illinois State 71-51 in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship game Sunday, earning an automatic NCAA Tournament berth.

After splitting their regular-season series and sharing the conference championship, Wichita State left no doubt as to whom the top team in the MVC was this season.

The Shockers (30-4, 17-1), the No. 2 seed, have won 15 straight games since losing at Illinois State on Jan. 14. The No. 1-seeded Redbirds (27-6, 17-1) had won eight straight games since losing at Wichita State on Feb. 4.

Landry Shamet added 14 points for Wichita State. Paris Lee, the MVC's player of the year, led Illinois State with 18 points, while MiKyle McIntosh scored 16.

After sluggish starts the past two games, Wichita State opened this one with a 10-2 run that included 3-pointers from Frankamp and Shamet.

The Shockers, who got 13 points from Frankamp in the opening half, never trailed in the first 20 minutes, led by as many as 11 points and held a 33-25 advantage at halftime.

Wichita State pulled away in the second half, led by McDuffie and Shamet. The Shockers led by as many 23 points after halftime and sealed the victory at the free-throw line, sinking 21 of 31 attempts in the second half.

BIG PICTURE

With the win, Wichita State reached the 30-win mark for the fourth time in five seasons and solidified its standing as one of the top 25 teams in the nation heading into the NCAA Tournament.

Illinois State has lost five straight tournament championship games and fell to 4-8 in title games. The Redbirds' last MVC Tournament championship was in 1998.

UP NEXT

Wichita State has secured a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the sixth consecutive season.

Illinois State will have to wait to see if it receives an invitation to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998.