ST. LOUIS -- You can't really see the arch from the main entrance to Arch Madness -- STL's biggest landmark is obscured by lesser parts of the skyline -- but on all other fronts, this is an excellent event. This is my first visit to the Missouri Valley Conference's tournament, which yielded a seismic, Illinois State-over-Wichita State upset in Saturday's first game. The Redbirds get their chance to steal an NCAA tournament bid this afternoon against Creighton. Below are photos from my pre-game wanderings around the Scottrade Center over the past two days, including a glorious shot of Nolan Richardson's vintage Tulsa banner:
The exterior of Scottrade (if you look closely enough, you'll find a guy sleeping against the building):
View of warmups, from the hockey press box:
Banners at Union Station, the former train depot that's been turned into a Marriott and a mostly vacant urban mall:
The banner honoring the X-Man, Wichita State's star the last time they were this good:
Creighton fans lined up waiting to get into Sunday's final:
They sell lottery tickets in arena vending machines. This is not what Gregg Marshall was talking about when he said he saw "a lot of strange things" at Scottrade, but it's strange nonetheless.
Vintage Arch Madness poster from 1991:
The aforementioned Richardson banner (check out that chain!):
Kevin Stallings, not really matching Nolan's swag:
Health food offerings:
A vintage St. Louis Hawks shooting shirt, with a checked pattern that needs to be revived:
I'll be back with a postgame file this afternoon.