It's not the game that I wanted ... kinda hard when your team gets knocked out in the first round.
Even then, the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title game will not square off the league's co-champions. Instead, the game between No. 1 seed Northern Iowa and No. 3 seed Illinois State could answer an age old question of college basketball.
Which team has the edge: the team with the better individuals or the squad where the sum of its parts are greater than the whole.
The Panthers' meteoric rise to the top of the Valley standings came this season because they played team basketball. UNI features solid post play from starting 7-foot-1 inch center Jordan Egelseder and MVC Sixth Man of the Year Lucas O'Rear. Its guard play features Kwadzo Ahelegbe, Ali Farokhamesh and Johnny Moran ... any of which could light up defenders from the perimeter at a moment's notice.
The Redbirds, well, they're a whole different story.
Illinois State will be making its second straight conference final appearance, looking to avenge last season's blowout loss at the hands of Drake. The Redbirds feature the conference's most talented player (Osiris Eldridge) and super-transfer Chamberlain "Champ" Oguchi. Either guard can carry his team's offense for lengthy stretches of the game.
So, who's it gonna be?
You'll find out at the same time I do. The only difference is that I'll be in under the Arch for one more day.