UE News and Notes for March 10, 2013

—Creighton saddled itself with a number of questionable losses near the end of the regular season, losing three straight at one point during February, but the Bluejays raised the bar when it counted. They beat Wichita State last weekend to secure the Missouri Valley Conference’s regular-season title and again Sunday to win it all at Arch Madness, possibly the school’s last as it looks to join the new Big East Conference.

—Likely, you didn’t see Wichita State’s late rally to within a point Sunday as CBS switched to the tip of Indiana’s Big Ten Conference-clinching victory over Michigan at the under-four timeout of the Arch Madness championship game. Thoughts, UE fans?

—Expect to hear sooner rather than later (later being Selection Sunday) about where the Aces may play this postseason. An opponent might not be known until then, but reports were already leaking Sunday about Indiana State’s College Basketball Invitational bid. The Sycamores are also hoping for a National Invitation Tournament invite, which CBS Sports’ broadcast team at the Arch Madness final today thought could also go to UE.

—The Aces will surely accept an invitation to play in the postseason, likely from the CBI or CollegeInsider.com Tournament, but an MVC tournament loss to the Sycamores will sting for a while. Said Simmons: “Our four seniors — they gave their heart and soul to this basketball program — and their No. 1 goal was to have a chance to advance and play in the NCAA tournament. Now that’s gone by the wayside.”

—UE’s women’s basketball team took Creighton to overtime last week and then beat Drake on its home court by double digits. The secret for the under-manned Aces? A new 2-1-2 zone defense, said coach Oties Epps.

—Epps’ seventh-seeded Aces will play 10th-seeded Southern Illinois at 7:05 p.m. Thursday. The winner gets No. 2 Creighton in the quarterfinals. All games before the semifinals will be broadcast online at Valley Live. The semifinals and championship game air on Fox Sports Midwest. Check the full bracket here.

—UE’s baseball team salvaged a win in its series finale Sunday at Kennesaw State, beating the host Owls by an 8-3 score in Georgia. Pitcher Kyle Lloyd went eight innings, allowed just five hits and walked one in earning the win. The Aces (4-9) play their next six games at home, starting with contests Tuesday against Eastern Illinois and Wednesday versus Oakland City.

—UE’s softball team won both its home games Sunday — 8-2 over Murray State and 9-2 over Southeast Missouri State at Cooper Stadium — and moves to 6-9 on the season.

The Aces’ men’s swimming and diving team finished seventh at this weekend’s Mid-American Conference championships.

—The UE women’s tennis team finished non-conference play with a 6-1 loss Saturday at Arkansas State.

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