Blog Entry

Despite depth, MVC could be headed for two bids

Posted on: January 11, 2012 2:47 pm

By Jeff Borzello

The Missouri Valley Conference as a whole hasn’t been this good in several years, with several teams capable of winning the league title. Moreover, the middle of the league is strong and road games in the MVC are as tough as any league in the country.

But it’s those strengths – good depth and teams that protect their home court – that could limit the Missouri Valley to two bids this season.

Right now, there’s six teams with at least 10 wins and RPIs that are 102 or better.

Creighton has the best chance of any team in the league to get an at-large bid. The Bluejays are the regular-season favorite and already have non-conference wins over Northwestern and San Diego State. Moreover, they beat Wichita State on the road and held off Northern Iowa on Tuesday night. While the losses at Saint Joseph’s and Missouri State were surprising, they’re not bad defeats. They’re in the best shape going forward.

Then there’s Wichita State. The Shockers have the best win of anyone in the league, their 19-point home victory of UNLV back in early December. All three of their losses are to top-25 RPI teams and they’ve already picked up two road wins in MVC play. Assuming Wichita State is still in the mix come February, a six-game stretch where it faces Creighton, Northern Iowa, Indiana State, Illinois State and Missouri State (twice) will put them in or out of the field.

After that, I’m not sure there’s anyone with a NCAA tournament-worthy profile at this point.

Northern Iowa has great computer numbers, but the Panthers need more quality wins. Iowa State is the best one so far. Two sub-100 losses and a 2-3 start to conference play aren’t helping either.

Missouri State could be an interesting case. The Bears already won at Creighton and Indiana State, which will give them a big boost later in the season. If they hold serve at home, they could be in contention for the regular-season title. That would be a nice card to play on Selection Sunday.

Illinois State has a gaudy record and wins over Northern Iowa and Missouri State, but three sub-100 losses and bad computer numbers will seal their fate. Indiana State has a road win at Vanderbilt, but the rest of the cupboard is pretty bare. Both would have to make a huge run.

Although league play is only a couple of weeks old, we’re already starting to see the top teams beat up on each other. While that makes for an exciting conference race, it’s not good for at-large teams. Moreover, some of the teams at the bottom are proving to be very tough tests for the top-tier teams, especially on their home court. Going forward, a couple of teams are going to need to separate themselves from the pack. A big Bracket Busters weekend from the league is necessary, too.

Creighton and Wichita State seem to be in good shape, but the rest of the league has a lot of work to do if more than two teams are coming out of the MVC.

Photo: US Presswire


Since: Jan 16, 2012
Posted on: January 16, 2012 3:49 pm

Despite depth, MVC could be headed for two bids

If you don't watch a lot of MVC teams play.  Then please do not comment with your uneducated opinion on how weak the MVC is.  Just because the MVC isn't a BCS Conference does not make them a cupcake conference like some other Conferences like the Big Sky Conference.  Weak Conferenecs like the Big Sky have on or two Strong teams that easily roll over the rest of their Confeerence because it's weak. 

It doesn't work like that in the MVC.  In the MVC the bottom 2 teams are capable of beating the top teams on a good night for them. 
The Wins and Loss Column doesn't tell the whole story of the bottom tier teams in the MVC.  You only have to look at the scores to see that some of the bottom teams lost a lot of games by just a few points.  Unlike really weak conferences like the Big Sky where the top teams consietnly beat everybody else in their conference by 15-40 points each game. 

If a Mid-Major team is every going to with the NCAA National Championship in the near future.  You can bet it's going to be a team from the Missorui Valley Conferenec. 

Since: Dec 21, 2007
Posted on: January 12, 2012 11:18 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Mar 5, 2007
Posted on: January 12, 2012 3:37 pm

Despite depth, MVC could be headed for two bids

I agree that this sounds like another article from someone who looks for any reason to downgrade mid major conferences for a bias to major conferences.  Must be afraid his alma mater will not make it if 3-4 MVC teams make the tourney.  Which should happen with how the conference has done compared to some of the major conferences.  Especially, PAC 12.  And SEC which isn't all that great again this year.  Time will tell I guess.

Since: May 31, 2009
Posted on: January 11, 2012 10:58 pm

Despite depth, MVC could be headed for two bids

Where's the consistency in logic? For the past three or four seasons, or since Bradley and Wichita State made the Sweet 16 after Billy Packer ranted after the selection show that the Valley did not deserve four teams in, only one team would be invited, with the reasoning that the league lacked depth and quality wins. Now the league has depth and the reasoning is that this will work against the teams come selection Sunday? Obviously, Valley coaches need to be on their games come Bracketbusters, because if Creighton or Wichita State lose during the conference tournament, they need something to point to as reason that the loss is not bad enough to keep them out of the tournament.

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