ST. LOUIS (AP) -Following Missouri State's 63-58 loss Friday in the quarterfinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, coach Barry Hinson turned to his wife in the crowd, shrugged his shoulders and mouthed ``I'm sorry.''
``It was also to our fans, you know,'' Hinson said, appearing to fight back tears. ``I'm sorry we didn't win. I'm sorry we didn't ... go to the NCAA tournament. I'm sorry how it's ended.''
Hinson may have coached his final game for Missouri State.
School officials have not publicly said Hinson had to get the Bears (17-16) into the NCAA tournament for the first time in his nine-year career to keep his job, but that's been the speculation swirling around the program for most of the past month.
The NCAA tournament excluded the Bears each of the past two seasons despite them finishing second and third in the conference, respectively, with a 12-6 conference record. Hinson said if the NCAA tournament selection committee had chosen Missouri State either of those years, his fortunes likely would have been much different.
``We're going to the NCAA tournament, I'm running for mayor,'' he said. ``If we had gone to the NCAA tournament, I might not have been the coach of Missouri State this year.''
Reporters attending Hinson's news conference showed the coach a rare display of public warmth by giving him a standing ovation.
POINT/COUNTERPOINT: Adam Emmenecker has done a bit of everything during his senior year at Drake, including being named the MVC Player of the Year.
What the 6-1 guard has not done this season or in his career with the Bulldogs is sink a 3-point basket. The former walk-on has missed on four attempts with Drake, including twice this season.
``It's something I probably should do before I leave - at least one,'' Emmenecker said after the top-seeded and 20th-ranked Bulldogs thumped Indiana State 68-46 Friday.
Emmenecker has started all 30 games this season after getting just two starts in his first three seasons. Going into Saturday's semifinal game against fourth-seeded Creighton, he has converted 70 field-goal attempts - he was 14-of-39 entering the year - and his school-record 182 assists this year contrasts with the 64 he had through his junior season.
OUCH: Illinois State guard Osiris Eldridge had a tough night despite the Redbirds' victory over Missouri State. He sank just 4 of his 15 field-goal attempts and needed medical attention after the game because he chipped a tooth against the Bears.
Coach Tim Jankovich said Eldridge's cosmetics was not the major concern heading into the semifinals Saturday.
``I haven't seen his tooth,'' Jankovich said. ``He's in quite a bit of pain and that's what I'm worried about. We can make him look great when the season's over, but I want to make sure he's not feeling badly.''
GOOD SHOW: The MVC tournament continues to draw well even during a down year in which only one team - Drake - likely has a guaranteed spot in the NCAA tournament.
The first session Friday drew 13,581 fans, marking it the third-largest crowd during a daytime quarterfinal session in tournament history.

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