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The 2018 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, begins March 1 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
All 10 of the league’s teams will be in action for the MVC Tournament. As things currently stand, the Missouri Valley looks like a one-bid league with the tournament winner going to March Madness, which is a big change from past years when Wichita State was already in the field.
Favorite Loyola-Chicago has a tournament-worthy resume, but it will be a tough sell for the Selection Committee to take the Ramblers as an at-large when a bigger school with a bigger athletic department and a bigger following can take that spot. Thus, the pressure is on for the Ramblers to hold serve as favorite and get into the Big Dance. The top six seeds get a bye to the quarterfinals on March 2
Betting Odds from BetDSI.eu
11. Loyola-Chicago 25-5 (15-3), +120
12. Southern Illinois 19-12 (11-7), +725
13. Illinois State 16-14 (10-8) (H2H tiebreaker, then RPI), +700
14. Drake 16-15 (10-8), +1200
15. Bradley 19-12 (9-9), +625
16. Indiana State 13-17 (8-10), +1025
17. Missouri State 17-14 (7-11) (H2H tiebreaker, then RPI), +750
18. Evansville 17-14 (7-11), +2200
19. Northern Iowa 15-15 (7-11), +1100
20. Valparaiso 15-16 (6-12), +1300
Loyola-Chicago hasn’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 1985. . The Ramblers moved from the Horizon League just before the 2013-14 season. This is a team with a little bit of postseason pedigree, as the Ramblers won the CBI back in the 2014-15 season, so the freshmen turned seniors on this team have that to fall back on. This is the first time Loyola-Chicago has had a winning record in the MVC.
This league is watered-down without Wichita State, but it also opens the door for somebody else to play in the NCAA Tournament. Drake was a hot team at the start with head coach Niko Medved, but they leveled off. The Missouri State Bears could actually be the second-best team in the league, but they draw the #7 seed and have to play that extra game in the first round.
Outlook & Pick
Loyola-Chicago is clearly the best team in this conference and a worthy favorite at +120. Beyond the Ramblers, there has to be some value on the other side of the bracket. Missouri State has lost nine of 11, so they are a tough team to back. Consistency hasn’t been a strong suit, but Indiana State dealt Loyola-Chicago one of its three conference losses and played tough in the rematch late in the year.
As you can see with the futures prices, a lot of the teams behind Loyola-Chicago are pretty interchangeable.
The Full Story: https://www.bangthebook.com/missouri-valley-conference-tournament-preview-and-prediction/