This week helped in clearing up the picture in the MVC. Five teams went 2-0 and five went 0-2. Teams started to see their dreams come crashing down and others are keeping their bubble afloat. Right now the conference is looking at two and possibly a three bids, if everything goes right. Here are this week's rankings:
10. Bradley 6-15 (0-10 MVC)
Last week: No. 9
Results: 0-2 (Evansville 70, Bradley 67; Illinois St. 79, Bradley 78 (OT))
Notes: The Braves gave their opponents all they could handle this week as they lost two heart-breaking games. Jim Les should be safe despite the poor showing this year as recent history has been on his side (with five-straight top five finishes in the MVC).
9. Drake 8-13 (3-7 MVC)
Last week: No. 8
Results: 0-2 (Northern Iowa 69, Drake 49; Missouri State 73, Drake 70)
Notes: The Bulldog's youth shined through this week, but the future continues to look bright. Sunday's game against Illinois State will give them a chance to get back on track.
8. Illinois State 10-11 (2-8 MVC)
Last week: No. 10
Results: 2-0 (Illinois State 59, Southern Illinois 55 & Illinois St. 79, Bradley 78 (OT))
Notes: Welcome to the 2011 win column, ISU. While the wins were over a struggling SIU squad and a Bradley squad with their own problems, the Redbirds showed a glimpse into what might have been. A chance to go for three straight looms on Sunday as they take on Drake.
7. Southern Illinois 10-11 (4-6 MVC)
Last week: No. 6
Results: 0-2 (Illinois State 59, Southern Illinois 55; Wichita St. 74, S. Illinois 64)
Notes: A loss to previously MVC-winless Illinois State and a 10-point loss to the Shockers has effectively ended the Salukis' chances of making a postseason run. Coach Lowery might need to step out into the cold air to cool off as his seat is starting to get hot with a third straight season without a NCAA bid coming to a close.
6. Creighton 13-9 (5-5 MVC)
Last week: No. 5
Results: 1-1 (Missouri State 67, Creighton 66; N. Iowa 71, Creighton 66)
Notes: There was no turning the clock back to 2008-2009 this week as Creighton lost two tough games to the league leaders. Their 137 RPI means they have work to do or they will be home for the postseason.
5. Evansville 11-9 (5-5 MVC)
Last week: No. 7
Results: 2-0 (Evansville 70, Bradley 67; Evansville 66, Indiana St. 63)
Notes: The Aces' RPI made a big jump this week as they are now sitting at No. 119 up from No. 148 last week. If they continue this strong play a trip to either the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament or the College Basketball Invitational Tournament may be in order.
4. Indiana State 12-9 (7-3 MVC)
Last week: No. 1
Results: 0-2 (Wichita State 93, Indiana State 83 (OT); Evansville 66, Indiana St. 63)
Notes: Two hard losses effectively ended the Sycamores' chances to make the NCAA tournament without winning the conference tourney. A 110 RPI puts ISU on track for a return trip to the College Basketball Invitational Tournament, at best.
3. Wichita State 17-4 (8-2 MVC)
Last week: No. 4
Results: 2-0 (Wichita State 93, Indiana State 83 (OT); Wichita St. 74, S. Illinois 64)
Notes: With two important wins the Shockers did a lot to help their bid for the NCAA tournament as their RPI raised to No. 43 (up from No. 54). If they keep this up, the Shockers will be dancing in mid-March. If they slip, a trip to the NIT will be in order.
2. Northern Iowa 16-6 (7-3 MVC)
Last week: No. 3
Results: 2-0 (Northern Iowa 69, Drake 49; Northern Iowa 71, Creighton 66)
Notes: Northern Iowa did their job this week by winning two games they should win as they kept their bubble from bursting, as they are sitting with the No. 64 RPI. If they play like they have in their last six games, they can keep the dream alive. If not, a trip to the NIT is in their future.
1. Missouri State 17-4 (9-1 MVC)
Last week: No. 2
Results: 2-0 (Missouri State 67, Creighton 66; Missouri State 73, Drake 70)
Notes: The Bears struggled this week, but they did what they needed to do to win. They are sitting at No. 38 RPI so unless they collapse or are snubbed for some reason, they will be dancing in mid-March.
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