Drake's bid for a possible NCAA Tournament at-large berth got an unexpected boost Friday.
The Bulldogs, 24-3 through the end of the regular season, got a walkover victory in their scheduled first game at the Missouri Valley Conference tournament in St. Louis. The quarterfinal contest against seventh-seeded Northern Iowa (10-15) was canceled and the second-seeded Bulldogs were handed a semifinal berth.
The conference did not announce an explanation for the walkover, but Stadium reported that Northern Iowa experienced a COVID-19 problem.
Third-seeded Missouri State (16-6) and sixth-seeded Valparaiso (10-17) were playing a late game Friday to determine Drake's next opponent.
The Bulldogs started the season 18-0, including a 9-0 mark in MVC games, before dropping two of three. They bounced back for a five-game winning streak and were on track to get the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament before taking a 67-61 upset loss at Bradley in their regular-season finale on Feb. 27.
--Field Level Media