Everything to Know About the Bradley Braves

Colin Koot

The Michigan State Spartans will face the Bradley Braves in the NCAA round of 64, a dangerous team out of the Missouri Valley Conference.

The Braves are 20-14 on the year and were the five seed in their conference tournament, upsetting number one seed Loyola IL before beating Northern Iowa in the final.

Bradley junior guard Darrell Brown leads the team with 14.7 points a game.  He is a threat on the wing and must be contained by Michigan State. He leads a Braves scoring attack that averages just over 66 points a game and can heat up behind the three point line.

In the frontcourt, sophomore forward Elijah Childs adds about 12 points and 8 rebounds per game.  He scored a team high 16 points in the Braves’ conference tournament victory.

“I think we just have to put ourselves in a really good situation where we can make a good run in the tournament,” said Spartan sophomore Xavier TIllman.

This Braves team started the year at 12-12, but hit the accelerator in the latter part of their season, going 8-2 in their final ten games.  They won each of their Missouri Valley Tournament games by under three points.

“We’re very confident,” said Bradley head coach Brian Wardle. “Wherever we play, we’re going to prepare the same way we’ve done all year and go in there confidently. We feel on a neutral floor we’re as good as anybody when we’re clicking and staying together.”

The last time Bradley appeared in the NCAA Tournament, they shocked everyone by making it to the Sweet 16 as a thirteen seed.  The Braves upset fourth seeded Kansas and then topped fifth seeded Pittsburg by six points.

Their magical run ended at the hands of the Memphis Tigers when they lost by 16 in the regional semifinal.

With a history of upsets in the NCAA Tournament, the Bradley Braves look to top the Michigan State Spartans and keep their season going.