More often than not the Missouri Valley is too close to call, that isn’t the case this year.
Predicted Champ: Wichita State (31-0, 18-0 MVC)
Were you expecting an Indiana State upset pick?! The Shockers are 31-0 and the first team to finish undefeated in the regular season since St. Joe’s in 2004. However, before looking ahead to the NCAA tourney, remember that the Hawks lost their opening game of the A-10 tourney that year to a Thad Matta-coached Xavier team that went a measly 19-10 in the regular season. Wichita State had a three point loss to Creighton in last year’s tourney final before making their magical run to the Final 4, and they must be ecstatic that two-time-defending MVC tourney MVP Doug McDermott and his Bluejays have moved on to the Big East.
Unlikely. Wichita State has proven that they are the real deal. Their closest game of the season was in-conference at Missouri State, which they won 72-69 in overtime. Their closest competition and likely championship game opponent is Indiana State. In their two meetings in conference play the Sycamores lost to Wichita State in both meetings by 20 points on the road and seven points at home.
Projected Tournament MOP: Cleanthony Early, Wichita State
All Tournament Team:
G – Jake Odum, Indiana State (13 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 4.6apg)
G – Fred VanFleet, Wichita State (11.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 5.3 apg)
F – Jarmar Gulley, Missouri State (14.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg)
F – Seth Tuttle, Northern Iowa (15.4 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 2.3 apg)
F – Cleanthony Early, Wichita State (15.8 ppg, 5.9 rpg)