The 2012 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament begins on Thursday with first round action, the beginning of "Arch Madness" as it's known in the region. Two nationally ranked teams, Wichita State and Creighton, are heavily favored to reach the title game. Those two teams split their regular season series, with the road team winning each time.
On Thursday, the tournament begins with No. 8 seed Indiana State facing No. 9 seed Southern Illinois and No. 7 seed Drake playing No. 10 seed Bradley. All ten teams from the conference qualify for the tournament, but the six teams atop the conference's regular season standings each receive a bye into the quarterfinals.
The winner of the Indiana State-Southern Illinois game will go on to play Wichita State, the No. 1 seed and the No. 15 team in the nation, while the winner of Drake-Bradley will go on to play Creighton, the No. 2 seed and the No. 25 team in the nation.