Thursday, March 7, 2013
The MVC's best shot at three bids?
By Luke Lapinski
In his most recent Bracketology update, our own Joe Lunardi has two teams from the Missouri Valley Conference cracking the Field of 68. Following its big win over Wichita State to close out the regular season, Creighton is essentially locked in. Not only that, with Doug McDermott on the floor, the Bluejays will be a team to look out for. And, assuming they win another game or two in the conference tournament, the Shockers are likely NCAA Tournament-bound as well. With that in mind, is there a dark horse team that could go on a run through "Arch Madness" and steal the automatic bid from the top two clubs?
If there is, Northern Iowa is likely the top candidate. The Panthers got some buzz as a team to at least keep an eye on heading into the season, then fell on hard times during non-conference play. A look at their schedule shows why though. Ben Jacobson had his guys face the likes of Louisville, Stanford, Memphis, Iowa, UNLV and Saint Mary's before league play -- not exactly an easy run. After stumbling against MVC rivals in early January, however, that experience against high caliber opponents seems to be paying off. NIU has won seven of nine heading into the postseason. And if they can get by Illinois State on Friday, the Panthers could be in position to make a little noise over the weekend.