CBS selected the regular-season finale between Illinois State and SIU in Carbondale for an early afternoon broadcast, the Missouri Valley Conference announced Monday.
The Redbirds (14-11, 7-5 MVC) edged the Salukis (13-12, 6-6), 59-58, in Normal on Jan. 15. The rematch at SIU Arena is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, and will air on the CBS Sports Network.
Illinois State is two buzzer-beaters from being tied for first place with Loyola (16-9, 9-3). Missouri State hit a last-second, half-court heave Sunday, and Valparaiso beat the Redbirds on another buzzer-beater earlier this season. SIU, the only team in the league that returned all five starters from last season, enters the week tied for sixth place in the league with Valparaiso (13-12, 6-6).
ESPN picked Bradley's road game at Loyola for distribution on ESPN2. The other three regular-season finales, Evansville at Valparaiso, Northern Iowa at Indiana State and Drake at Missouri State, will all air on ESPN+.
With six games left in the regular season, two games separate second place from eighth place. Unless first-place Loyola wins out, the regular-season champion of the Valley will have more than three league losses for the first time since 2013, when Creighton (13-5 in the MVC) won the title by one game over Wichita State (12-6).
• Valley schools set to produce record amount of live events: The MVC announced a spring schedule that will feature more than 250 live events produced by the league or member schools and their students. The league and its 10 schools will produce over 700 live events for the first time since signing a contract with ESPN to air exclusive content on ESPN3 and ESPN+.
The MVC delivered 429 live events during the 2015-16 school year and went to 670 in 2016-17. Last season the league and its member schools produce 683 live events.
ESPN+ will air the MVC softball tournament from Peoria and the outdoor track and field championships from Terre Haute, Indiana. It will also air the MVC baseball tournament from Normal.