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Stoked For “Arch Madness”

March 1, 2012

First off, I’d like to wish my brother Adam a happy 10th birthday.  Yes he is a leap year baby.  See ya again in 4 years bro.

This will be the first time in the last 5 years that I will not be able to make the trip to St Louis for the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament or  “Arch Madness,” which begins Thursday.  I love this tournament.  More than the Big 12 Tournament.  More than the Big Ten Tournament.  I’ll admit I was spoiled with my first three trips there as I was lucky enough to follow the Drake Bulldogs through their magical season of 07-08 and the UNI Panthers who took the tournament titles in the 08-09 and 09-10 seasons.  I was also happy for Iowa native Greg Lansing’s Indiana State squad who surprised and took the championship last year.

Why do I love “Arch Madness?”  Because I love to pull for the “little guy.”  St Louis has hosted this tournament for over 20 years and it is supported very well.  Valley fans are great.  And this tournament has had lots of great moments in the past years at the Scottrade Center.  I’ll also admit I just love that 5 1/2 to 6 hour drive from Des Moines to the “Gateway to the West.”  Not too long and not too short either.

This year the MVC has been so crazy.  #1 Wichita State and #2 Creighton both should be headed to the NCAA’s regardless of the final outcome, but the fact that 5 teams tied for 3rd at 9-9 is insane.  And Indiana State one game back from that pack at 8-10.

The league showed it’s balance with Drake beating Wichita State in an epic 3 OT thriller at the Knapp Center.  Evansville nearly pulled off a sweep of Creighton losing in Omaha by just a point in OT.  UNI’s Anthony James stunned the Jays in the McLeod Center with a “step back 3” at the buzzer.  There is no question that Wichita State is playing the best of anyone in the league, but don’t be totally SHOCKED if one of those 9-9 teams wins it all.

I’m not going to make any predictions, but I will say I am looking forward to turning on my TV Thursday night for the beginning of 4 days of “Arch Madness.”

From → Basketball

  1. Adam permalink

    Too bad the Bulldogs did not get a better seed. Being the last of the 9-9 teams means they not only have play on Thursday but also must face Creighton in the next round if they advance. Just one more Valley win would have them as on of the top 4 seeds. Ouch.

  2. Agreed Adam. I think this was a critical year for Coach Phelps. If they’d finished in the 7th seed any other year, he might be in trouble, but considering he tied for 3rd, I think it was a solid year for them. Too bad they got the short end of the stick. They did show improvement this year and hopefully can build on it for next year. Losing Ben Simons to mono for a few games was just bad luck too.

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