Darrell Brown scored 21 points to lead Bradley to an 80-66 victory over Valparaiso on Sunday in St. Louis to win the Missouri Valley conference tournament title and earn the league's automatic NCAA Tournament berth.
It is the second straight season in which Bradley (23-11) won the tournament, and it also marks the first time the school has participated in back-to-back NCAA Tournaments since 1954-55. Bradley fell to Michigan State, 76-65, in the first round of the tournament last year.
"I'm just so proud of our guys and how they played together and hard they played," Braves coach Brian Wardle told CBS in a postgame interview. "They were resilient all weekend and just made big plays in big moments, led by our seniors, especially Darrell Brown."
Bradley, as a No. 15 seed, lost to No. 2 seed Michigan State 76-65 in the first round of last season's tournament.
Brown made four 3-pointers and had nine assists for Bradley. Elijah Childs had 17 points and a team-high eight rebounds, Ja'Shon Henry scored 16, Nate Kennell had 14 and Ville Tahvanainen added 10.
Javon Freeman-Liberty had 24 points and 10 rebounds to lead Valparaiso (19-16).
--Field Level Media