- The Missouri Valley Conference Tournament will run from Thursday, March 3rd, to Sunday, March 6th
- Regular season champion Northern Iowa is the top seed, but 4-seed Loyola Chicago has the shortest odds to win
- See the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament odds, seeds, bracket, and full tournament preview, below
It’s officially Arch Madness season. The Missouri Valley Conference Tournament begins on Thursday (March 3rd), with the final taking place on Sunday (March 6th). All games will be held in St. Louis, and there’s a chance the conference produces two NCAA Tournament teams next weekend on Selection Sunday.
2022 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Odds
|Loyola Chicago Ramblers (4)||+130|
|Missouri State Bears (2)||+300|
|Northern Iowa Panthers (1)||+500|
|Drake Bulldogs (3)||+650|
|Bradley Braves (5)||+900|
|Southern Illinois Salukis (6)||+2200|
|Valparaiso Beacons (7)||+12000|
|Indiana State Sycamores (9)||+13000|
|Illinois State Redbirds (8)||+20000|
|Evansville Purple Aces (10)||+50000|
Odds as of March 1 at DraftKings.
That’s because Loyola Chicago is by far the highest rated team by both the NCAA NET Rankings and KenPom’s metrics, but will be seeded fourth after stumbling down the stretch. Four teams won at least 13 conference games, with Northern Iowa claiming the regular season crown.
The Panthers may be the top seed, but a quick scroll through the NCAA Tournament odds reveals that the Ramblers and number two seed Missouri State Bears are the only Missouri Valley teams currently priced.
Fade Northern Iowa
It’s not often that the top-seed is an underdog in their conference tournament semifinal, but that’s exactly the fate that likely awaits Northern Iowa. Barring a colossal upset, they’ll have to face Loyola Chicago in the semis, a team that grades out 71 spots higher per KenPom.
— UNI Basketball (@UNImbb) March 2, 2022
The Panthers did beat the Ramblers in their final game to secure the regular season title, edging them out in overtime. Their previous meeting was a much different story. Loyola Chicago trounced Northern Iowa by 27 points, holding the Panthers to their second lowest point total in conference play.
Northern Iowa is a solid offensive team, ranking top three in the Missouri Valley in points per game and field goal percentage, but they don’t excel in any one area.
— UNI Basketball (@UNImbb) February 27, 2022
Defensively, they allow the fourth most points in the conference, don’t force turnovers, and yield a 55.1% opponent field goal percentage on two-point attempts, a bottom-17 mark in the country.
Pass on Loyola Chicago
Back in 2016, the Ramblers shocked everyone in the Final Four odds by making the National Semifinal. They made it to the Sweet-16 last season, and have multiple outs to get back to March Madness in 2022.
First, win the conference tournament. They’re clearly the most talented team in the Missouri Valley, ranking 32 spots higher in KenPom’s overall efficiency metric than anyone else. They rank 30th in the country in offensive efficiency, and lead the conference in field goal percentage, three-point efficiency and assists.
BRAD3N 🥶 pic.twitter.com/nV6FL2OE5z
— Loyola Men's Basketball (@RamblersMBB) February 27, 2022
Defensively, they’re no slouch either. They have the best defensive rating in the Missouri Valley, hold opponents to 42.2% from the field, and rank 15th in the nation in defensive rebounding percentage.
Second, earn an at-large bid. Given their high grade in the NCAA Net rankings and per KenPom, they clearly belong in the Tournament. They played a respectable out of conference schedule, and will likely advance to March Madness as long as they make the final this weekend.
— Loyola Men's Basketball (@RamblersMBB) February 26, 2022
The reason they’re not the top-seed this week, is due to a lacklustre finish. They went 8-5 down the stretch, and have lost to each of the other top-five seeds this season. Their shaky recent form and extremely short price is enough for me to pass, especially with Missouri State sitting there with more favorable odds.
Roll With Missouri State
The Bears aren’t among the teams currently in the projected NCAA Tournament bracket, but don’t let that stop you from backing them. They won five of six down the stretch, and rank 29 spots higher per KenPom than top seed Northern Iowa.
— Missouri State Basketball (@MSUBearsHoops) February 27, 2022
They lead the conference in points per game and offensive rating, and rank just behind the Ramblers in field goal percentage and three-point efficiency. Missouri State doesn’t turn the ball over, and boasts two of the conference’s top-four scorers. Isiaih Mosley and Gaige Prim combine for over 36 points per outing, and Mosley cracked 40 points twice this season, including in a victory over Loyola Chicago.
Player of the Week ⫸ Isiaih Mosley, @MSUBearsHoops
▪️ Helped catapult MSU to the No. 2 Seed for Arch Madness after a big final week
▪️ Averaged 26.5 points, 11.0 rebounds & 3.0 assists on the week with a pair of double-doubles
— Missouri Valley Conference (@MVCsports) February 28, 2022
Defensively, they hold enemy shooters to 42.3% from the field, and 33% from three, while boasting the 25th best defensive rebounding rate in the country.
They’ve got size and experience, and swept the third seed Drake, their likely semifinal opponent, in the regular season.
Pick: Missouri State Bears (+300)
All Conference Tournament Previews:
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- Missouri Valley Conference Odds, Picks and Bracket
- NEC Tournament Odds, Picks, and Preview
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