Mvc Basketball Tournament Preview

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Missouri Valley Conference

Basketball Tournament

Preview and Predictions


The Missouri Valley Conference College Basketball Tournament, also known as “Arch Madness” (how clever is that?) gets underway March 1st at the at SCottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. While the two top dogs, Wichita State and Creighton, will be headed to the Big Dance, for the rest of the league, winning this Tournament is likely the only way in. Any chance for an upset? Read on.

In trying to pick Tournament upsets, it’s helpful to look at what a team has done most recently. Unfortunately for the rest of the conference, the hottest team heading into the Tournament also happens to be the best team in the Tournament, Wichita State. Who has the best record over the last 10 Games? You guessed it, Wichita State at 9-1, followed by Creighton at 7-3. Who has the best record over the last 5 Games? Uh huh. Wichita State at 5-0 and 5-0 against the spread followed by Creighton at 4-1 but just 1-4 against the spread.

In fact, any time frame you look at, last 5 or 10, or season to date, returns the same results. Wichita on top followed by Creighton. There’s no other team that stands out as a potential dark horse in the MVC, although who ends up playing Wichita in the title Game could be wide open as Creighton could be vulnerable.

When you look at who’s hot and who’s not heading into this Tournament, we show Wichita playing above their regular season level by about 6 points while Creighton is playing below their regular season level by the same margin. That’s a 12 point difference between Creighton and Wichita in addition to the 7 or 8 points Wichita would be favored by on a neutral floor. That drop in current form makes them vulnerable to any number of teams in this Tournament, several playing above their own regular season marks. Creighton’s 1-4 spread run down the stretch also a warning sign.

Teams that could be worth a look from a betting standpoint would be Evansville, 16-9 against the spread this year as well as 7-3 against the number their last 10 and Indiana State who is on an 8-2 spread run. If you’re looking for upsets, or just good bets against the spread, pay attention to these teams, especially against teams playing below their regular season ratings, such as Creighton, Illinois State and Missouri State.

We love to pick upsets in Tournaments but just don’t see that happening here. In Wichita State, you not only have the best team in the Conference but also a team that could very well go on a long run in the Big Dance. Whether or not they play Creighton for the title would seem to be the only question mark in the MVC Tournament. Predicted ChampWichita State


Here is the MVC Tournament Schedule

Thursday, March 1

Game 1
#8 Indiana State Sycamores vs. #9 Southern Illinois Salukis
6:05 pm — MVC TV Network

Game 2
#7 Drake Bulldogs vs. #10 Bradley Braves
8:35 pm — MVC TV Network

Friday, March 2

Game 3
#1 Wichita State Shockers vs. Winner Game 1
12:05 pm — MVC TV Network

Game 4
#4 Illinois State Redbirds vs. #5 Northern Iowa Panthers
2:35 pm — MVC TV Network

Game 5
#2 Creighton Bluejays vs. Winner Game 2
6:05 pm — MVC TV Network

Game 6
#3 Evansville Purple Aces vs. #6 Missouri State Bears
8:35 pm — MVC TV Network

Saturday, March 3

Game 7
Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4
1:35 pm — MVC TV Network

Game 8
Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6
4:05 pm — MVC TV Network

Sunday, March 4

Game 9
Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8
1:05 pm — CBS Sports