Patrick Marshall of White & Blue Review is the RTC correspondent for the Missouri Valley Conference.
The Missouri Valley Conference Tournament will be a dogfight this season as a lot of teams feel like they have a great chance at winning it all. The top six seeds all have legitimate shots at winning. Games are not always about who has the best players, but who ultimately gets the best matchups.
- Who’s Hot—Missouri State is definitely the team to beat. They are on a roll with six straight conference wins to end the season. A lot of teams have troubles matching up with the Bears as Kyle Weems plays more like a guard than a forward. If everything goes like it has the past couple of seasons in the MVC, then you will see Missouri State heading to the NCAA Tournament.
- Who’s Not—Northern Iowa is definitely the team who, despite the decent seed, is really struggling right now. Ad nauseam we have talked about the loss of O’Rear to the Panthers, but it is apparent they have not found someone to patrol the paint like he did. Losing six of their last seven doesn’t help either. If Creighton uses their frontcourt to their advantage, then the Panthers will likely be out after the first round.
- Watch Out For—Indiana State. The Sycamores are tougher than people are giving them credit for and could surprise Wichita State as both teams are incredibly deep and match up well with each other. Indiana State took them to triple-overtime at Koch Arena, which is as tough as any place in the nation to win a game. The Shockers have struggled to finish out the season, and were a few seconds away from finishing the season 0-3.
- Tournament Prediction—In what could be considered another down year for the Missouri Valley Conference, there is a small chance that if Missouri State and Wichita State met in the finals of the MVC Tournament that both teams might make it into the NCAA Tournament. However, with their conference tournament occurring a week before all the major conferences play their conference tournament, it is very likely the selection committee will have forgotten by then about the MVC tournament runner-up.