Creighton's James Farr wasn't going to play this season. Southern Illinois wishes he didn't change his mind.

"I had an option to redshirt when I thought we were basketball on probation,but I decided to play and let things happen," said Farr, the only senior on theCreighton team.Creighton was on restricted status and not allowed to play in the NCAA postseason tournament. But the restrictions were lifted at January's NCAA convention, and Farr made sure the Bluejays' season didn't end in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament.

"I thought it would be up to me at the end of the game to either take us into the NCAAs or out of them," Farr said. "If you are a college player, it's everybody's dream to get into the NCAA."

Farr hit a 10-foot jumper with three seconds left to give Creighton a 79-77 victory over Southern Illinois in the MVC tournament title game and an automatic NCAA tournament berth for the first time since 1981.

Also going to the tournament will be Bucknell, a 71-65 winner over Lafayette in the East Coast Conference championship game.

East Coast Conference

Mike Joseph scored all 12 of his points in the second half, including four free throws in the final minute, as Bucknell defeated Lafayette 71-65 to capture the East Coast Conference tournament. The Bison, 23-7, are in the NCAA tournament for the second time in three years.

Mid-Continent Universities

Southwest Missouri State and Illinois-Chicago moved into Wednesday night's title game in the Association of Mid-Continent Universities tournament in Springfield, Mo. Southwest Missouri defeated Valparaiso 82-50 after Illinois-Chicago defeated Eastern Illinois 91-75.

Southland Conference

Deon Hunter scored eight points during a 21-7 North Texas spurt late in the first half and the Eagles went on to a 100-77 victory over Nothwestern (La.) State and a berth in Wednesday's final in the Southland Conference tournament in Denton, Texas.

North Texas will play McNeese State, an 80-65 winner over Northeast Louisiana. North Texas won the regular season title and is the defending tournament champion.