More Victims for the Valley

by David Mihm | December 3rd, 2006

Don’t be surprised if the Missouri Valley Conference finishes the season ranked as high as #4 in the RPI.

With Big Ten, Big East, and Big XII schools all losing games to lesser-conference foes, there is plenty of room at the top for the Valley, particularly given how well its teams are playing.

MVC teams just keeping picking off larger conference foes. Wichita State scored a huge win at Syracuse last night, and Drake beat in-state rival Iowa State today. SIU also beat NCAA contender SLU (Saint Louis, for those unfamiliar with the acronym) yesterday.

Of the three, Wichita’s win was clearly the most significant, positioning itself for a protected seed (1-4) with its second major road win of the year (the Shockers beat LSU in the bayou last week). With a great trio of experienced leaders in Wilson, Cousinard, and Ogirri, it would not “shock” this observer to see a repeat of last year’s Sweet 16 appearance.

It’s time that this conference got the respect from the media and fans around the country that it deserves. It remains to be seen whether the Valley can maintain its elite status for years to come, but for the forseeable future, it’s time to start talking about a “Super Seven” in college basketball. And at least this year, don’t think that the Seventh is the Valley.

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