Video: Will Ferrell’s NBA player introductions prior to Bulls – Hornets game

“He doesn’t speak a lick of English…”

Worth a look if you have a couple of minutes.

MVC Standings after 14 games

And down the stretch they come.  As the Missouri Valley Conference approaches the final turn, we still have a battle at the top and a logjam in the middle.  Much will be determined this weekend.

Here are the current standings:

Wichita St……..12-2
Creighton………11-3
Illinois St……..8-6
Missouri St……..8-6
Evansville………7-7
UNI…………….6-8
Drake…………..6-8
Indiana St………5-9
SIU…………….5-9
Bradley…………2-12

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Preview of MVC games- Wednesday, Feb. 8

After the happenings of the last several days, things are starting to come into focus in the Valley – or are they becoming more muddled?  Either way, after tonight, each team will have only 4 conference games remaining.  There is little doubt that every game has the potential to impact seeding for Arch Madness beginning on March 1 in St. Louis.

 

Drake (+7.5) at Illinois State

In Ben Simons’ absence, Drake got drilled at home by Missouri State on Saturday. Reports are that Simons will not play again tonight, so take the Redbirds here to win and cover.

 

Indiana State (-6) at Bradley
The Sycamores had won three straight prior to a close loss in Wichita. Bradley, on the other hand, looks every bit of the 10th place Valley team losing six straight by an average on almost 23 points per game. Take Indiana State to cover.

 

Missouri State (-4) at Southern Illinois
The Bears have an opportunity to further solidify a Top 4 finish. I think it’s probably a bit of a risk, but I would take Missouri State if I had to pick.

 

Northern Iowa (+10.5) at Wichita State
The game of the night in the Valley. With a win, Wichita State moves into sole possession of first place. Looking ahead, an additional win over Creighton on Saturday would all but assure them a Valley regular season title. UNI is coming off of an emotional win. While I don’t think the Panthers win, I’ll take the points.

Evansville upsets #17 Creighton 65-57

Evansville defeated #17 Creighton 65-57 on Tuesday night behind 15 points from Kenny Harris and a cold shooting night for one of the nation’s top three point shooting team.  The Bluejays cut a 10 points Aces lead to 2 at half and quickly opened a 7 point lead in the second half, but the Aces made 18 of 22 FTs and used timely baskets from Harris in the final minutes to secure the victory.  The Bluejays made only 4 of 22 three point attempts.

Doug McDermott scored 21 points for Creighton in the loss.

Creighton falls to 21-4 overall and 11-3 in MVC play. The Aces improve to 12-12 and 7-7 in the Valley.

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#17 Creighton at Evansville preview

Only one game on tap for tonight in the Valley as the Bluejays face the Purple Aces.  It doesn’t look like there is any television scheduled for the game so I’m not sure why this one isn’t being played on Wednesday with the rest of the Valley games.  Nevertheless, there are plenty of intriguing angles on this one:

 

Creighton (-6) at Evansville
The Jays are coming off a heartbreaker of a loss in Cedar Falls at the buzzer thanks to Anthony James. The Aces are all too familiar with losing close games as they’ve seen a miracle buzzer beater three pointer fall for Illinois State, a missed Aces’ free throw opportunity with one second left against Wichita State, a double OT loss to Indiana State, and Saturday’s one point loss against Southern Illinois when the Aces were holding the ball for the last shot in a tie game and instead turned the ball over leading to a layup (foul) and made FT that ended the game.

The Jays are in a first place tie with Wichita State, but with the Shockers looming on Saturday, is it possible that CU could look past the Aces tonight? On the other hand, Evansville desperately needs wins to avoid playing on Thursday night in St Louis – can they overcome the obvious matchup deficits in the interior and can Colt Ryan have a big game to keep it close?

I think Evansville keeps it close, but unless Ryan and Denver Holmes can get hot from the perimeter, Creighton should win this game and set up a much anticipated contest in Omaha this Saturday between the Shockers and Jays.

Update: It appears that the free video link has been removed and is no longer accessible.

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Current MVC Standings & Upcoming Schedule

After the Top 2 spots, it’s anybody’s guess how this will all work out:

Creighton 11-2
Wichita St. 11-2
Illinois St. 7-6
Missouri St. 7-6
Evansville 6-7
Drake 6-7
UNI 6-7
SIU 5-8
Indiana St. 5-8
Bradley 1-12

 

Games this week:

Tuesday, Feb 7-
Creighton at Evansville

Wednesday, Feb 8-
Indiana State at Bradley
Drake at Illinois State
Missouri State at Southern Illinois
Northern Iowa at Wichita State

Saturday, Feb 11-
Wichita State at Creighton
Illinois State at Northern Iowa
Southern Illinois at Indiana State

Sunday, Feb 12-
Bradley at Missouri State
Evansville at Drake

 

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Updated RPI – Sunday, February 5

Yesterday’s win by Northern Iowa over Creighton thrust UNI back into the Top 50 of the RPI and, theoretically, back into at large discussion for an NCAA berth should they be able to continue winning down the stretch.

The current RPI’s for Missouri Valley Conference teams:

Creighton – 16
Wichita State – 26
Northern Iowa – 49
Missouri State – 81
Illinois State – 114
Indiana State – 116
Drake – 121
Evansville – 162
Southern Illinois – 227
Bradley – 229

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Northern Iowa defeats #13 Creighton 65-62 on 3-point buzzer-beater


Following a game tying three pointer by Creighton’s Antoine Young, UNI’s Anthony James took the inbounds pass and navigated downcourt before hitting a step back three pointer as time expired to lift the Panthers to an upset victory over the 13th ranked Bluejays. After missing Wednesday’s game against Southern Illinois due to nagging injuries, James came off the bench for UNI and led the team with 16 points. Freshmen Seth Tuttle and Deon Mitchell proved key playmakers for Ben Jocobson’s team with 13 and 12 points respectively.

Young led the Bluejays with 23 points and Doug McDermott had 18 points and 13 rebounds for Creighton.

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Preview of Valley games – Saturday, February 4

A full slate of Missouri Valley Conferences is scheduled today, highlighted by The War on 74 and the return of the McDermotts to Cedar Falls. With a logjam in the middle of the league and only sic games to play, every game has significant importance for seeding at Arch Madness.

Evansville (-2) and Southern Illinois
The Aces thumped the Salukis by 18 December and it looks like SIU might have hit the wall following several ugly losses in five of their last six. I’ll take Evansville here and give the points.

Creighton (-2) at Northern Iowa
UNI had a chance to win in Omaha on January 10, but a second half Jays rally was just enough for a 3 point Creighton victory. The game is a sell out in Cedar Falls for the return of the McDermotts and the energy and animosity will be high. I think CU plays a focused game and wins on the road again, this time by 6.

Bradley (+12) at Illinois State
The War on 74 was dampened a bit on Wednesday when Bradley was beaten by 30 at Evansville and Illinois State lost by 28 at Creighton. The Redbirds are a heavy favorite at home and with the Braves proclivity to get blown out, I’ll give the points and take ISU here.

Missouri State (+2.5) at Drake
After a quick start in Valley play, Missouri State has lost five of seven, but those losses have been by 1, 5 in OT, 1, 7 in OT, and 7 then at Wichita. The loss of Caleb Patterson could be a factor as Drake lacks a true inside presence, but I’m playing a hunch here and taking the Bears in an upset to win straight up.

Indiana State (+15) at Wichita State
The Sycamores have won three straight games after a terrible MVC start. The number is this one is huge at 15 and I think Indiana State plays a closer game than Vegas thinks. I’ll take the points and take the Sycs.

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MVC standings after 12 games

With two-thirds of the Missouri Valley Conference basketball season in the books, the standings are as follows:

Creighton………..11-1
Wichita St……….10-2
Illinois St…………6-6
Drake…………….6-6
Missouri St……….6-6
Evansville…………6-6
UNI……………….5-7
Indiana St………..5-7
SIU……………….4-8
Bradley……………1-11

It would appear that Creighton and Wichita State will own the top two seeds in St. Louis for Arch Madness and that Bradley is all but assured of a last place MVC finish and a Thursday night date. Everything else is up for grabs which should make for a very exciting month of February in the Renaissance conference.

You can discuss everything about the Valley on the MVCfans.com message board:
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