Missouri State Bears

Are part of the Missouri Valley Conference, were established in 1905, and their home arena is JQH Arena, Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri.
Missouri State Bears

Embark on the storied journey of the Missouri State Bears, a team synonymous with resilience, excellence, and an indomitable spirit in the realm of NCAA basketball. Established in 1908, this venerable program has woven a rich tapestry of athletic prowess, community spirit, and unwavering commitment in Springfield, Missouri. The Bears’ narrative is not just about basketball; it’s a reflection of the culture, history, and the soul of a community rallying around a sport that transcends mere competition.

Intriguing Facts About the Missouri State Bears

Delving into the annals of the Missouri State Bears reveals a treasure trove of fascinating facts. This program clinched the NAIA national championships twice, in 1952 and 1953, showcasing their early dominance in collegiate basketball. Before ascending to Division I status, they made a mark in Division II, reaching the national finals four times (1959, 1967, 1969, 1974).

Their story begins in the early 20th century, 1908 to be precise, embedding them in the fabric of basketball history. The Bears play their home games at the majestic Great Southern Bank Arena, a 11,000-seat venue that stands as a testament to their storied legacy. Interestingly, before 2005, the institution was known as Southwest Missouri State, a name that still resonates with many long-time followers of the team.

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The Historical Tapestry of the Missouri State Bears

The historical journey of the Missouri State Bears is a compelling narrative of growth, challenges, and triumphs. From humble beginnings, the program quickly established itself as a powerhouse in the NAIA, clinching national titles and setting the stage for future successes. Their transition to NCAA Division II was marked by remarkable achievements, reaching the finals multiple times and cementing their status as a basketball powerhouse. The leap to Division I in the 1982–83 season opened a new chapter, bringing new challenges and opportunities for the Bears to showcase their tenacity on a larger stage.

The Golden Era

The golden era of Missouri State Bears basketball, spanning from the late 1950s to the mid-1970s, is a period etched in the annals of sports history. This era was characterized by remarkable success and the emergence of iconic figures who shaped the program’s destiny. Coaches like Bob Cleeland imprinted a philosophy of hard work, discipline, and teamwork, which was embodied by players such as Jerry Anderson and Howard Arndt. This period wasn’t just about winning games; it was about building a legacy and setting standards for the generations to come.

Legendary Figures in Missouri State Bears History

The Missouri State Bears’ basketball legacy is adorned with legendary figures, including influential coaches and players who left an indelible mark on the program. Coaches like Bob Cleeland and players such as Jerry Anderson and Howard Arndt stand tall in this pantheon of legends. Their contributions went beyond winning games; they shaped the culture, instilled values, and inspired generations, creating a lasting impact that extends beyond the hardwood.

A Game to Remember

A defining moment in Missouri State Bears history is their NAIA Championship victory in 1953. This game was not just a display of skill and athleticism; it was a manifestation of the team’s spirit, determination, and unity. The Bears’ performance in this game captured the essence of what the program stands for, making it a landmark moment in their storied journey.

Missouri State Bears [year] Schedule

Regular Season

Week Date Opponent Result
Week 1 Date: Mon 06/11/2023 Opponent: West Virginia Mountaineers Result: L 59-67
Week 2 Date: Mon 13/11/2023 Opponent: Oral Roberts Golden Eagles Result: W 84-69
Week 2 Date: Fri 17/11/2023 Opponent: Florida Gulf Coast Eagles Result: W 70-61
Week 2 Date: Sun 19/11/2023 Opponent: Kent St. Golden Flashes Result: W 56-52
Week 3 Date: Mon 20/11/2023 Opponent: Abilene Christian Wildcats Result: W 87-69
Week 3 Date: Sat 25/11/2023 Opponent: South Carolina State Bulldogs Result: W 92-74
Week 4 Date: Wed 29/11/2023 Opponent: Evansville Purple Aces Result: W 90-78
Week 4 Date: Sat 02/12/2023 Opponent: Drake Bulldogs Result: L 57-74
Week 5 Date: Tue 05/12/2023 Opponent: Middle Tennessee St. Blue Raiders Result: L 73-77
Week 5 Date: Sat 09/12/2023 Opponent: Sam Houston St. Bearkats Result: W 69-60
Week 6 Date: Sat 16/12/2023 Opponent: Tulsa Golden Hurricane Result: L 72-73
Week 7 Date: Tue 19/12/2023 Opponent: Lindenwood Lions Result: W 79-57
Week 7 Date: Sat 23/12/2023 Opponent: Saint Mary’s Gaels Result: W 69-64
Week 8 Date: BYE Opponent: BYE Result: BYE
Week 9 Date: Wed 03/01/2024 Opponent: Northern Iowa Panthers Result: L 62-64
Week 9 Date: Sat 06/01/2024 Opponent: Bradley Braves Result: L 60-86
Week 10 Date: Wed 10/01/2024 Opponent: Murray St. Racers Result: L 53-77
Week 10 Date: Sat 13/01/2024 Opponent: Evansville Purple Aces Result: W 74-64
Week 11 Date: Tue 16/01/2024 Opponent: Indiana St. Sycamores Result: L 66-88
Week 11 Date: Sat 20/01/2024 Opponent: Illinois St. Redbirds Result: L 60-69
Week 12 Date: Wed 24/01/2024 Opponent: Drake Bulldogs Result: W 83-80
Week 12 Date: Sat 27/01/2024 Opponent: Valparaiso Beacons Result: W 81-70
Week 13 Date: Wed 31/01/2024 Opponent: Southern Illinois Salukis Result: W 76-75
Week 13 Date: Sat 03/02/2024 Opponent: Belmont Bruins Result: W 87-80
Week 14 Date: Wed 07/02/2024 Opponent: Northern Iowa Panthers Result: L 65-72
Week 14 Date: Sat 10/02/2024 Opponent: Indiana St. Sycamores Result: L 71-73
Week 15 Date: Wed 14/02/2024 Opponent: Murray St. Racers Result: L 72-82
Week 15 Date: Sat 17/02/2024 Opponent: Valparaiso Beacons Result: W 82-74
Week 16 Date: Wed 21/02/2024 Opponent: Bradley Braves Result: L 62-86
Week 16 Date: Sat 24/02/2024 Opponent: Belmont Bruins Result: L 78-93
Week 17 Date: Wed 28/02/2024 Opponent: Illinois St. Redbirds Result: L 74-75
Week 17 Date: Sun 03/03/2024 Opponent: Illinois-Chicago Flames Result: W 69-59

Post Season

Week Date Opponent Result
Conf. Tournament Date: Thu 07/03/2024 Opponent: Murray St. Racers Result: W 60-35
Conf. Tournament Date: Fri 08/03/2024 Opponent: Indiana St. Sycamores Result: L 59-75

Home of Missouri State Bears: Great Southern Bank Arena

The Great Southern Bank Arena, formerly known as JQH Arena, is more than a venue; it is a fortress, a community hub, and a symbol of the Bears’ athletic identity. With a seating capacity of 11,000, this arena is not just a stage for basketball games; it’s a gathering place where fans, students, and the community come together to support their team, creating an electrifying atmosphere that is both intimidating for opponents and exhilarating for the home crowd. The arena’s modern facilities and historical significance make it a cornerstone of the Missouri State Bears’ basketball program.

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