Southern Illinois and Illinois State kick off the Missouri Valley Tournament Thursday, March 3, kicking off the college basketball event now officially known as Arch Madness. Drake and Bradley will play at Scottrade Center that night, with the winner of each game playing No. 1 Missouri State and No. 2 Wichita State, respectively, on Friday. It all comes down to the MVC championship on March 6, which will be televised on CBS at 1:05 p.m..
With Southern Illinois, last decade's powerhouse MVC team, in dire straits, and two-time defending champions Northern Iowa kicked down to the fourth seed, the tournament's top seed is Missouri State, who at 23-7 (and 15-3 in-conference) have their strongest team since the 1999 Southwest Missouri State squad reached the Sweet 16 before losing to Duke. The second-seed Wichita State Shockers finished in second place in conference play last year, as well, as the champion Northern Iowa Panthers went on to upset Kansas and lose narrowly to Michigan State.
You can find a Missouri Valley Tournament bracket, in handy, print-out-and-bettable PDF form, on the conference's official web site.