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‘We all we need:’ Braves fans welcome champions home

PEORIA — They arrived by police escort at 8:33 p.m., with the Missouri Valley Conference tournament championship trophy in their arms and a bid to the NCAA tournament in their hands.

A few seconds later the Bradley Braves men’s basketball team also owned the hearts of about 300 fans packed into an atrium outside Renaissance Coliseum on Sunday.

They were there to welcome home the first BU team since 2006 to enter the NCAA tournament — and the first one since Hersey Hawkins’ 1988 Braves to earn an automatic bid by winning the Valley.

Toddlers danced.