“Arch Madness” Preview

arch_madnessThursday marks the beginning of March, and that can only mean one thing for the folks of the Missouri Valley Conference, it’s Arch Madness time! This year is the first time in tournament history there are two ranked teams in Arch Madness, thanks to #19 Witchita State and #24 Creighton. As always, the tournament will be hosted at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. 

The Shockers of Witchita State come in as the early favorites to take home the trophy this year. The reigning NIT champion Shockers boast an impressive 26-4 overall record 16-2 conference record. WSU has been riding the high wave, winning 16 of their last 17 games with their only loss coming in a triple OT heartbreaker at Drake. Look out for senior center Garret Stutz, who’s put up some impressive numbers this season in route to leading WSU to the #1 seed. Regardless of how they do, the Shockers will still be in the NCAA tournament, so that could be a key factor.

You can never count out Creighton, though. Led by MVC player of the year Doug McDermott, the Bluejays shocked many people this year. They started their season 11-1, inculding getting wins against Iowa, San Diego State, and Northwestern. The Bluejays have proved they can win big games, and they’ll have to keep that going if they want to be Arch Madness Champions.

Evansville is a team to watch out for. Quietly sneaking to the #3 seed, the Aces split the season series with Creighton and took Witchita State down to the wire twice. Led by Junior Colt Ryan, who averages 20.5 points a game, we could see the 15-14 Aces pull off an upset or two and sneak to the championship game. They have more to play for then WSU and Creighton, because they won’t make the NCAA tournament unless they can win Arch Madness.

Picks and Predictions

Champion: Cole: Wichita State - Mike: Wichita State - Andy: Wichita State

Sleeper: Cole: Evansville - Mike: Northern Iowa - Andy: Northern Iowa

MVP: Doug McDermott is the obvious choice if Creighton wins, but I think we could be seeing big tournaments from WSU’s Garret Stutz and Evansville’s Colt Ryan. I’ll pick Stutz, because I think he’ll want to make his final Arch Madness apperance big.

Read more for the tournament bracket and schedule below:


Tournament Bracket and Schedule *All times Central

1st Round, Thursday March 1st

Game 1
#8 Indiana State Sycamores  vs. #9 Southern Illinois Salukis
6:05 pm — MVC TV Network

Game 2
#7 Drake Bulldogs vs. #10 Bradley Braves

8:35 pm — MVC TV Network

2nd Round, Friday March 2nd

Game 3
#1 Wichita State Shockers vs. Winner Game 1
12:05 pm — MVC TV Network

Game 4
#4 Illinois State Redbirds vs. #5 Northern Iowa Panthers
2:35 pm — MVC TV Network

Game 5
#2 Creighton Bluejays vs. Winner Game 2

6:05 pm — MVC TV Network

Game 6
#3 Evansville Purple Aces vs. #6 Missouri State Bears

8:35 pm — MVC TV Network

Semi-finals, Saturday March 3rd

Game 7
Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4
1:35 pm — MVC TV Network

Game 8
Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6
4:05 pm — MVC TV Network

FINALS, Sunday March 4th

Game 9
Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8
1:05 pm — CBS Sports