Blog Entry

Missouri Valley has look of multiple-bid league

Posted on: December 21, 2011 12:41 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2011 3:29 pm
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By Jeff Goodman

The Missouri Valley has been a one-bid league for the past four years. 

That'll change this season. 

League commissioner Doug Elgin isn't quite ready to put his league on par with 2005 and 2006, but he's also not afraid to admit that this year the conference should be in position to receive multiple bids come March. 

The top four teams -- Creighton, Wichita State, Indiana State and Northern Iowa -- are 36-7 overall. All rank in the Top 50 of the RPI and the league certainly has the look and feel of a multiple-bid conference this season. 

Back in mid-December of 2005-06, when the Valley wound up with three teams in the NCAA tournament, there were six teams in the RPI's Top 75 and the non-conference mark for the league was 57-20. The next season, when a record four schools got into the Big Dance, there were four teams in the Top 75 and the non-conference record was 66-22. 

This season there are four teams in the Top 50 and the non-conference record is 70-33. 

"We're decidedly stronger and deeper than we've been in the last three or four years," Elgin said. "Juniors and seniors are leading the way, and we have some really good point guards on the contending programs." 

There are some marquee wins for the league as well. Indiana State took care of Vanderbilt with its star big man, Festus Ezeli; Wichita State defeated UNLV; and Creighton knocked off San Diego State on the road. The league isn't ranked second or third in the RPI - as it was back in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons - but it's eighth overall. 

Creighton is considered the premiere team in the league and also boasts the frontrunner for conference Player of the Year honors -- Doug McDermott. But Greg Lansing's Indiana State team proved it may be improved from a year ago -- when it went to the NCAA tournament -- with the win in Nashville against Vandy. Gregg Marshall has his best overall team since arriving at Wichita State, with five guys in double-figures, and Ben Jacobsen has made certain Northern Iowa hasn't fallen off the map since the huge upset over Kansas in the NCAA tournament a couple years ago. 

Elgin said that there has clearly been an increased commitment by the league as a whole to boost their non-conference schedules.

"Part of the problem the last few years was that the teams that ended up being our strongest didn't have the non-conference schedules," Elgin admitted. 

Elgin also said coaching stability has something to do with the success this season. Missouri State's Paul Lusk is the only rookie coach. New Bradley coach Geno Ford has experience coming from Kent State and every other coach has at least three years of head coaching experience in the league except for Lansing - who was an assistant coach for the Sycamores before getting the head gig. 

"It's too early to start counting our chickens," Elgin said. "But I think we're certainly getting close to where we were." 

Photo: US PRESSWIRE

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Comments

Since: Apr 7, 2010
Posted on: December 22, 2011 11:26 am
 

Missouri Valley has look of multiple-bid league

The MVC is a great league. Creighton, Wichita State, Northern Iowa and Indiana State are all legit. I am partial to my Bluejays, but those other three teams are going to be tough outs. I would love to see the MVC get at least 2 teams to the Big Dance.




Since: Oct 5, 2008
Posted on: December 22, 2011 9:16 am
 

Missouri Valley has look of multiple-bid league

I could never figure out what the Bears had to do to get the respect of the selection committee. They were snubbed more than once while Barry Hinson was there. I thought they deserved a bid in 2006 for sure, but that would have been five schools in the Big Dance from The Valley and Heaven forbid a mid-major conference have more bids than the BCS conferences.



Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: December 21, 2011 11:04 pm
 

Missouri Valley has look of multiple-bid league

And hey ... those Purple Aces are rolling.
Well, heading downhill without wheel chocks.
But the Valley is where it's at this year.




Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: December 21, 2011 8:05 pm
 

Missouri Valley has look of multiple-bid league

Yes, Go Sycamores!  Let's not forget they beat Texas Tech along with Vanderbilt.  Both of those wins away from home.  While they did let Minnesota off the hook the 3rd place showing at the Old Spice Classic will help on the selection show.  If Indiana State has a strong conference record at the very least they could be an at large number 12...maybe even an 11 seed with an MVC tourney win.



Since: Jan 31, 2008
Posted on: December 21, 2011 6:27 pm
 

Missouri Valley has look of multiple-bid league

GO SYCAMORES!   They should have beat Minnesota too!



Since: Dec 20, 2009
Posted on: December 21, 2011 6:03 pm
 

Missouri Valley has look of multiple-bid league

they fail to mention that wichita state got snubbed by the ncaa tournament last year and went on to win the nit



Since: Dec 21, 2011
Posted on: December 21, 2011 5:56 pm
 

Missouri Valley has look of multiple-bid league

Go Bluejays!



Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: December 21, 2011 5:51 pm
 

Missouri Valley has look of multiple-bid league

I'm rooting for Missouri State to make the NCAA Tournament from the MVC.

Last year, Missouri State won the MVC regular season title and lost the MVC final. They were denied an NCAA bid.

Back in 2006, Missouri State had an RPI of 21 and was denied an NCAA bid. I believe they were the highest RPI ever to be denied an NCAA bid.

If there's anyone from the MVC you should root for if you don't have any favorites, it should be Missouri State.



Since: Oct 5, 2008
Posted on: December 21, 2011 5:44 pm
 

Missouri Valley has look of multiple-bid league

March ON, STATE! Go ISU!



Since: Nov 4, 2006
Posted on: December 21, 2011 4:46 pm
 

Missouri Valley has look of multiple-bid league

Go Sycamores!!!


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