The Missouri Valley Conference (like many others, no doubt) seems to be pretty strong at promoting itself through the delving down into archives to provide its audience with interesting nuggets of information. Lets take a look at the details that will whet our whistle for the tournament starting on Thursday evening.
First let's talk about the regular season champion, Creighton. On the bright side, there have only ever been eight teams to win the regular season MVC title and not reach the NCAA tournament. This year's conference was deeper, as Creighton's squad became the fifth ever, and first in 14 years, to win the conference with more than four conference losses. It was also the second time ever (since 20 years ago) that every MVC team won at least six conference games.
If Creighton doesn't make the tournament, they'll be the sixth squad ever to fail to do so after winning the regular season title. However, the top seed has only won the conference tournament six times since it moved to St. Louis in 1991.
Speaking of Creighton, and their stud scorer Doug McDermott, did you know he isn't as alone atop the conference - and country - as we may have thought? The top scorers (cumulatively) in the NCAA in scoring the last three seasons?
1. Doug McDermott (Creighton) - 2,106
2. Nate Wolters (Sout Dakota State) - 1,985
4. Colt Ryan (Evansville) - 1,738 How about some other interesting tidbits to keep an eye out for:
- Only two tournament champs ever have been a four seed or lower. Number six seeds have been especially bad, going 2-22 in tournament history all-time, and teams seeded lower than fifth have only reached the semifinals once ( No. 7 Bradley in 1998)
- I would wager that Wichita State is the one team capable of pulling it off this postseason, but did you know that there have been seven times in conference history, and three times in the last 24 years, where an MVC team has made the Big Dance without getting the regular season or conference tournament title? Or that two of those last three involved Northern Iowa doing it in back-to-back years ('05-'06)? The others...New Mexico State (1979), Illinois State (1985), Wichita State (1988), Missouri State (1999), Bradley (2006).
- Wichita State and Creighton have made a fourth-straight season that two MVC teams will enter the MVC Tournament with 23+ wins after having never happened prior to 2010. It's also the second time that two teams will enter Arch Madness with 24+ wins.
- Bradley's Dyricus Simms-Edwards (84) and Walt Lemon Jr. (67) have combined for a total of 151 steals that is five shy of setting a single season record for steals by MVC teammates in a season. Simms-Edwards' total on its own is two assists shy of passing Larry Bird on the conference record list for most steals in a single season, and 13 shy of setting a new record.
- Illinois State's Jackie Carmichael may have struggled to do anything but commit fouls against Northern Iowa, but he still hits the conference tourney as one of just 12 players in MVC history with 1,500 career points and 900 career rebounds. Other notable names on the list? How about Larry Bird, Oscar Robertson, and Wes Unseld. To be fair, only two other players out of those twelve did not crack 1700 points or 1,000 rebounds, but still solid.