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Missouri Valley Conference Tournament 2023 Odds, Picks and Schedule

Jack Magruder

by Jack Magruder in College Basketball

Updated Feb 27, 2023 · 7:07 PM PST

Bradley players celebrating on the bench
Bradley's Rienk Mast (51) and his teammates react to a Braves' three-pointer in the second half Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023 at Carver Arena. The Braves rolled over the Murray State Racers 83-48.
  • The Missouri Valley Conference tournament will be played March  2-5 in St. Louis, Missouri
  • All 12 teams will participate, and top four finishers Bradley, Drake, Southern Illinois and Belmont received first-round byes
  • Read below for the Missouri Valley Tournament odds, seeds, bracket and predictions

The Missouri Valley Conference Tournament — nicknamed Arch  Madness because it is played in the shadow of Gateway Arch — will be played Thursday through Sunday at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis. The Sunday championship game will be televised by CBS. Four games will be played.

Here are the opening odds from DraftKings.

2023 Missouri Valley Tournament Odds

Team Odds
Drake Bulldogs +135
Bradley Braves +190
Indiana State Sycamores +550
Belmont Bruins +800
Southern Illinois Salukis +1400
Missouri State Bears +3000
Northern Iowa Panthers +7000
Murray State Racers +15000
Illinois State Redbirds +50000
Valparaiso Beacons +50000
Illinois-Chicago Flames +50000
Evansville Aces +100000

Drake (+125) and Bradley (+190) are the favorites to win the Missouri Valley Conference tournament that begins Thursday in St. Louis. Bradley won the tournament in 2019 and 2020. Drake has not won since 2008. There will be new champion. Loyola-Chicago, which won the last two tournaments and three of the last five, jumped to the Atlantic 10 this season. Drake lost to the Ramblers in the last two title games.

The winner will receive an automatic bye into the NCAA Tournament bracket. This is a one-bid league unlike 2021, when Drake and Loyola made the field of 68.



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Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook Feb. 27.

Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Schedule

Top four finishers Bradley, Drake, Southern Illinois and Belmont received first-round byes, and the other eight teams will meet in a play-in round on Thursday.

No. 5 seed Indiana State plays No. 12 seed Evansville, No. 6 seed Missouri State plays No. 11 seed Illinois-Chicago, No. 7 seed Murray State plays No. 10 seed Valparaiso and No. 8 seed Northern Iowa plays No. 9 seed Illinois State. The Thursday winners advance to the quarterfinals, and teams will not be reseeded if there is a first-round upset.

Valley teams have had their moments in recent NCAA tournaments. Loyola-Chicago lost in the first round as a No. 10 seed last season, but the Ramblers won two games and Drake won one in 2021. Eighth-seeded Loyola beat Georgia Tech and Midwest Region No. 1 seed Illinois to reach the Sweet 16 in 2021. Drake, seeded 11th, was 1-1 in 2021, beating Wichita State in the first four before falling to USC.

Bradley Enters on a Roll

Bradley won the regular-season title on the final day of the season with a 73-61 home victory over Drake on Sunday. of the regular season Sunday. The Braves enter the tournament on a 10-game winning streak, the last nine of which have come after sophomore guard Zek Montgomery (8.2 points, 3.4 rebounds) returned to the starting lineup in an 83-76 victory at Illinois-Chicago on Jan. 29 after missing time with a broken right wrist.

Dutch forwards 6’9″ Rienk Mast (14.0 points, 8.0 rebounds) and 6’9″ Malevy Leons (11.6, 6.1) lead the Braves in scoring and rebounding. They have limited opponents to 39.9 percent shooting from the field, 17th in Division I, and 31.1 percent shooting from distance. Leons is one four MVC players since 1992 with 40 blocks and 40 steals in the same season.

Drake Looks to Break Through

The Bulldogs, who have lost the last to MVC title games to Loyola-Chicago, had their own 10-game winning streak broken in the loss at Bradley on Sunday. Sophomore 6’7″ guard Tucker DeVries, son of coach Darian DeVries is their go-to guy, averaging 18.9 points and 5.6 rebounds with 79 three-pointers.  DeVries had 28 points and made 5 of 11 threes in the Bulldogs’ 86-61 runaway win over Bradley in theJan.  14 meeting and had 11 points on 3 of 13 shooting, 1 of 8 from distance, in the rematch.

Senior 6′ guard Roman Penn (12.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists), who hails from the Blues Brothers’ home town of Calumet City, Ill. complements DeVries.

2023 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Predictions

Riding their 10 games winning streaks, Bradley and Drake pulled away the final month of the season and should carry that all the way to the tournament finals. They finished 1-2 in conference league games in scoring margin while taking different paths. Bradley limited opponents to a league-low 61.1 points per game and Drake was second in the league in scoring at 75.5 points per.

New Valley member Belmont is an intriguing option and is worth a sprinkle on the moneyline. The Bruins, who have won 20 games for 13 straight seasons, won both games against Bradley and would meet the  Braves again in the semifinals if they each win their opener.  Missouri State beat Drake twice, and those teams also would meet in the semis. Drake beat Belmont twice if it gets that far.

Pick: Bradley (+190)


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