Debuting in the dog pound 

January, 25, 2006
01/25/06
12:32
PM ET
For years I've been praising and defending Missouri Valley Conference teams in Bracketology. They have generally rewarded that stance with notable nonconference and NCAA Tournament victories.

But until Tuesday night, I had never seen an actual MVC league game in person. The game itself -- Southern Illinois 62, Creighton 48 -- offered little out of the ordinary. It was a defensive struggle between two intense teams whose fans have made this perhaps the least-known great rivalry in the Midwest.

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