Following today’s senior day Aces blowout at the Ford Center, they’ll see the Sycamores again at 2:35 p.m. Friday in the Scottrade Center.
“We’re on spring break, and we’ll start preparing,” coach Marty Simmons said. “We’re not going to wear them out – not by any means. That’s where we’re at in the year. But we think staying sharp mentally and physically is really important. That could be rest. That could be weight training. That could be non-contact – just doing some skill work. It could be film.
“There are a lot of things we’ll meet on as a staff. No matter who it is, it’s going to be a great basketball team, and we’ll be eager to start preparing.”
Northern Iowa’s 80-72 win over Illinois State on Saturday set up the Aces-Sycamores showdown. Had the Panthers lost, UE would have carried the third seed into the tournament for the second year in a row.
— Josh Betts (@BettsSportsBeat) March 3, 2013
Instead, landing the fourth seed puts the Aces in line to face MVC regular-season champion Creighton should both teams advance into the semifinal round.
Two of the three teams that finishes ahead of UE the Aces swept. WSU and UNI.
— Lance Wilkerson (@LanceWilkerson) March 3, 2013
Before Saturday’s 84-68 UE win over Indiana State, the Sycamores won the teams’ previous meeting Jan. 19 in Terre Haute. Indiana State’s second-leading scorer, junior Manny Arop, didn’t play Saturday against the Aces.
UE, which carries a four-game winning streak into the tournament, hasn’t played yet this season at a neutral site.
“We’ve got tons of respect for Indiana State,” Simmons said Saturday. “They’re as well-coached and they play as hard and they execute as well as anybody we play all year. And I just have to give our players a lot of credit. They hung in there and battled.”