Missouri Valley Tournament Preview

7 Mar

Missouri Valley

March 7-10

Favorite(s)-Wichita State 24-7 12-6, Creighton 24-7 13-5

The Shockers were ranked as high as 15 in the country at one point this season and after a three-game losing streak found a way to finish 2nd in the Valley after falling to Creighton on the last day of the regular season. Since the losing skid Wichita State finished the year on a 5-2 run that coincided with a healthy Carl Hall.

Like Wichita State, Creighton was a once top 15 ranked team who faltered.  Going 4-4 in their last seven and a win over Wichita in the regular season finale got them the top seed in Arch Madness but Doug McDermott and crew have been through this before and are very capable of becoming the team we all saw in the fall, and that would not be good news for the rest of the MVC.

Contender(s)-Northern Iowa 18-13 11-7

The third seeded Panthers split with both Wichita State and Creighton and with guys like Jake Koch and Seth Tuttle are more than equipped to be a bid thief in the unpredictable Valley.  With the recent success the team has had in the NCAA Tournament recently, just ask Kansas the Panthers are a team to be reckoned with.

Team Likely to pull an upset- Illinois State 17-14 8-10

The Redbirds were hoping to make a return trip to the NCAA Tourney this year, and then they got off to the horrific 0-6 in league play.  They since turned things around, finishing 10-2, and now that they have Tyler Brown and Jackie Carmichael playing well there is no reason the team some thought could challenge Creighton at the beginning of the year could make another run in March.

3 Key Players-Carl Hall-Wichita State, Doug McDermott-Creighton, Tyler Brown-Illinois State

The Shockers have stumbled a bit in the MVC (who hasn’t) losing five games since Jan. 29.  For Wichita State to regain its mojo as a force in the Valley, Carl Hall is going to have to be a little more consistent.  Since returning from injury Hall has failed to notch double figures six times, something he did only once in the season’s first 10 games.

Doug McDermott got a lot of (well deserved) hype as a possible POY candidate in the fall, and while he has put up similar numbers to last year the Bluejays have hit a wall to end the season going just – .  When people think Creighton they think McDermott and perception (right or wrong) says he is going to be to the key to his team’s success.

Illinois State was thought to be Creighton’s main competition in the Valley but after getting off to an 0-6 start there were more than doubts.  The Redbirds then turned it around thanks largely to senior guard Tyler Brown.  Brown has averaged over 20 points a game since the dismal start and Illinois State climbed back to .500 in conference at 7-7 before finishing the year 10-8.  The Redbirds are capable of making another run in Arch Madness but Brown needs to be a big part of it.




March 7-10 St. Louis, MO



#8 Bradley vs. #9 Drake

#7 Missouri State vs. #10 Southern Illinois



#1 Creighton vs. #8/9

#4 Evansville vs. #5 Indiana State

#3 Northern Iowa vs. #6 Illinois State

#2 Wichita State vs. #7/10








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