First round games:
Central Arkansas 0
Semifinals — Friday, November 11
|No. 1 Missouri State|
|No. 4 Drake|
|3:00 PM | Live Stats | Valley Live | Recap | Box Score|
|No. 2 Creighton|
|No. 3 Bradley|
|6:00 PM | Live Stats | Valley Live | Recap | Box Score|
Soccer tournament discussion:
In the second part of our look at the significant non-conference games for Missouri Valley Conference teams, we will continue to look at games that will have a bearing on the Valley’s chances for bids on Selection Sunday.
Southern Illinois – vs Saint Louis
The Salukis are predicted near the bottom of the Valley, but there’s hope that they can sneak up on the Billikens and get an important win for the MVC against the Atlantic 10. Any wins against similar conferences are a plus for the Valley.
Evansville – vs Indiana
The Aces host a second in-state opponent in less than a week when the Hoosiers come to town. Indiana is expected by most to finish in the middle of the Big Ten (think, 8th or so) and a win could propel Marty Simmons’ club early in the season.
Creighton – at San Diego State
The Aztecs lost to eventual national champion UCONN in the Sweet Sixteen following a magical 2010-11 season and they will be without Kawhi Leonard who entered the NBA draft. Creighton will be challenged on the road, but a win against another team expected to be in at large contention could be huge when bids are determined.
Missouri State – at New Mexico
The Bears may appear outmanned on paper when they enter The Pit, but Kyle Weems will be the best player on the court and sometimes there are games where one stud player carries a squad to victory in a hostile environment – could this be one? A win here would be enormous for MSU and for the Valley against a team expected to make the NCAA tournament.
Wichita State – vs UNLV
First time head coach Dave Rice takes over for Lon Kruger and he will lead the MWC favorite Rebels into Koch to battle the Shockers. Like the previous two games as part of the MWC-MVC challenge, the Shockers have a chance to gain a tremendous boost to their at large chances if they can defend their home court.
In Part 3, we will look at Multi-Team Events and common opponents for multiple MVC teams.
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The Missouri Valley Basketball Examiner’s 2011-12 Power Rankings debuts with the exhibition season underway. Valley squads will play a total of 16 exhibition games before the regular season kicks off on November 11.
The Power Rankings will be updated weekly* throughout the season, so don’t forget to check back on Mondays to see where your school ranks! *The next update to the rankings will be November 14, after the first weekend of regular season games.
Here are the first Missouri Valley Power Rankings for the 2011-12 season:
1. Creighton- Even with the injury to Echenique, Greg McDermott’s squad is deep enough in the frontcourt with highly-regarded freshmen Will Artino and Geoff Groselle.
To read the rest of the article, click here:
I have always believed that any Valley teams accepting buy games should be avoided. Conventional wisdom lends me to believe that if a team sells itself, it lowers the stature of the team and the Valley. After all, BCS teams don’t take buys, and if the Valley wants to be at or near the level of their BCS counterparts, they should act the same way. Buy games are for SWAC teams, not the Valley.
My opinion is changing. Not because I don’t agree with everything as stated above, but because the Valley needs to schedule better and higher profile teams won’t leave home.
Read the rest of this entry »
It’s Kumbaya time again in the Missouri Valley Conference, when heated rivalries and old grudges are swept aside for a couple of months in favor of conference unity and hopes that non-conference success will lead to additional invitations to the NCAA tournament on Selection Sunday.
With that in mind, we now offer offer our thoughts on which games will be pivotal when the committee sits in their hotel ballroom and dissects teams, schedules, and leagues. This is not intended to simply be a list of MVC games versus highly ranked opponents – Evansville at North Carolina does not make the list, for example. Instead, the focus is on those games against peers from similar conferences and MTE opponents where a first round win or loss can impact an RPI and SOS for an entire year.
We will try to preview the non-conference games a week or so at a time and we’ll highlight them the day of the game. Here are my thoughts on the important games from the first weekend of play:
Missouri State – at Nevada
The Wolfpack return all five starters are will be among the favorites in the Western Athletic Conference. This game will give MVC fans an early idea as to what kind of team the Bears will have following the departure of Cuonzo Martin and the loss of four senior starters. Missouri State will certainly be an underdog on paper, but a victory on the road against Nevada could send positive shockwaves through the Valley.
Evansville – vs Butler
The Aces open their new home court against the two time defending national runner-up Butler Bulldogs. I think it is safe to assume that the Bulldogs will not be overwhelmed by what will surely be a raucous atmosphere and Coach Brad Stephens will have his team ready to play as they try to avenge last year’s UE victory. However, Butler loses most of their key contributors from last season including Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack. Can the Aces make it two in a row against Butler? Doing so would provide a boost for Marty Simmons and Co. and confirm the predictions of many that the Aces will be a force in the Valley.
November 12 & 14
Northern Iowa - at Old Dominion / at St. Mary’s.
The Panthers open their season with CAA stalwart Old Dominion who has become an NCAA tournament regular in recent years. The Monarchs only return two starters, but one is CAA preseason player of the year Kent Bazemore. The Panthers will quickly fly to California to play St. Mary’s in the ESPN College Hoops TipOff Marathon beginning roughly 24 hours later. The Gaels are predicted to finish 2nd in the West Coast Conference between Gonzaga and BYU. A win in either game would be a huge plus for a young UNI team and for the Valley as a whole.
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Here’s one vote for the Missouri Valley Conference, with a nod to Wichita State as being the most underrated team:
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As noted below, at media day on Tuesday, MVC commisioner Doug Elgin stated that beginning in 2012-13 that all league teams would be required to participate in an exempt MTE. The goal is to increase visibility as well as opportunities for MVC teams to play BCS opponents. It has been pointed out, however, that nine of the ten league teams are playing in MTE’s this season so there doesn’t seem to be much change forthcoming. Elgin also commented that there would be financial incentives for teams who play high level opponents in these tournaments.
Let me offer an alternative idea: Take whatever funds are to be allocated for said “incentives” and distribute them to 1-2 teams per season who have realistic at large chances before the season to help them schedule better opponents.
Let’s use this as an example: Before this season, Creighton and Wichita State would each receive $75,000 to use toward scheduling a “buy” game at home against a strong mid-major or to incentivize a BCS opponent to play a home-home or neutral site game. If they are unable to do so, the funds go back into the pool for the next year. This year, Creighton could have used these funds to attract someone like Dayton or St. Mary’s to Omaha as a buy game or as part of a home-home series. Or maybe Wichita State could have convince Missouri to play a game in Kansas City, splitting the proceeds but with Missouri receiving $75k as part of the arrangement. Considering the arrangement that Wichita State has with UAB for this season, it seems reasonable to think that other quality opponents would consider similar deals.
There would be obvious opposition from teams that wouldn’t be in line for these funds, but everyone would have the opportunity to earn them over time. If the ultimate goal is to improve NCAA chances for MVC teams, I feel that playing strong opponents at home or at neutral locations would make the most impact.
Keep the MTE requirement, but allocate the funds to those the teams that can best enhance the MVC in a given year. This plan would have a much greater impact on the league SOS, RPI, and thus increase the chances for additional Valley teams to reach the NCAA tournament.
You can discuss this and more on the MVCfans.com message board:
From Doug Elgin at Media Day:
Elgin is requiring that each team play in one so-called multi-team event annually.
Elgin said he would provide unspecified financial incentives to compel Valley schools to appear in such tournaments, particularly if the field includes a BCS team among the top 50 or top 25 in RPI. He said nine of the 10 league teams are appearing in multi-team events this winter (Drake is in the Paradise Jam and Northern Iowa is in the South Padre Invitational). The exception is Evansville, which is opening its new Ford Center this year and will host Butler and Indiana in its first two contests, plus visit North Carolina.
Article from the Des Moines Register: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20111025/SPORTS/310250097/MVC-basketball-Schools-told-to-play-difficult-schedules
|Rank||School (1st place votes)||Points|
|2.||Wichita State (7)||350|
|3.||Indiana State (4)||331|
Preseason All-MVC Team
|Kyle Weems*||Missouri State|
|Jake Odum||Indiana State|
|Toure’ Murry||Wichita State|
|*Preseason Player of the Year|
Honorable Mention All-MVC Team
|Anthony James||Northern Iowa|
|Mamadou Seck||Southern Illinois|
You can discuss this on the MVCfans message board: http://www.mvcfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1501&start=0