Missouri Western (11-9, 11-9 MIAA) at
Fort Hays State (11-9, 11-9 MIAA)
Tuesday, February 23 – 5:30 pm
Hays, Kan. – Gross Memorial Coliseum
Radio: KJLS (103.3-FM)
Fort Hays State Men's Basketball hosts Missouri Western on Tuesday night in a game that will loom large for a potential MIAA Tournament berth. Tipoff is at 5:30 pm in this men's only contest. Both teams have just two games remaining in the regular season and both enter at 11-9 on the season, currently in a three-way tie for fourth place in the MIAA standings. Both are trying to fend off seventh and eighth place teams that are still within a game in the standings. Only eight teams will qualify for the MIAA Tournament this season.
The Tigers are looking to even the regular season series with the Griffons after falling in St. Joseph back on January 2 by a score of 84-76. Missouri Western had a record of 6-1 on the season at the time and held the No. 22 ranking in the NABC Top 25. The Griffons eventually got to 8-1 before hitting an extremely rough stretch of seven straight losses to drop all the way to 8-8 overall. They have now won three of their last four.
While the Griffons trended downward in the MIAA standings since the early part of the season, the Tigers have trended upward from late Janaury to present day, winning eight of their last 10. The Tigers enter Tuesday on a three-game win streak, averaging a win margin of 22.7 points in the streak. FHSU defeated Central Missouri by 36 points on Saturday, the first game it played this season with a final margin above 17 points.
Several teams remain alive for the No. 3-8 seeds in the MIAA Tournament, which begins next Wednesday. Here is a look at the standings of teams still alive for one of the final six spots.
3. Missouri Southern 12-8
4. Fort Hays State 11-9
Missouri Western 11-9
7. Central Oklahoma 10-9
8. Pittsburg State 10-10
Rogers State 10-10
10. Emporia State 9-10
11. Nebraska-Kearney 8-12
Northwest Missouri State has clinched the regular season title and Washburn is a lock for the MIAA Tournament sitting second in the standings.
This contest is a make-up game after getting postponed due to COVID-19 protocols back on January 16.