The time is upon and it is finally time for Arch Madness, to determine who goes on to March Madness later in the month. If you have been following here on ACS, team profiles for each of the 10 university have been posted over the last few weeks. You can view them here:
Bradley University: http://www.archcity.media/…/arch-madness-team-profile-brad…/
Drake University: http://www.archcity.media/…/arch-madness-team-preview-drak…/
Evansville University: http://www.archcity.media/…/arch-madness-team-profile-evan…/
Illinois State University: http://www.archcity.media/…/arch-madness-team-profile-illi…/
Indiana State University: http://www.archcity.media/…/arch-madness-team-profile-indi…/
Loyola (CHI) University: http://www.archcity.media/…/arch-madness-team-profile-loyo…/
Missouri State University: http://www.archcity.media/…/arch-madness-team-profile-miss…/
University of Northern Iowa: http://www.archcity.media/…/arch-madness-team-profile-univ…/
Southern Illinois University: http://www.archcity.media/…/arch-madness-team-profile-sout…/
Wichita State University: http://www.archcity.media/…/arch-madness-team-profile-wich…/
Here’s the bracket for this year’s tournament
Let’s look at the two games that take place tomorrow and then the two of the four on Friday. The other two games on Friday are not being previewed yet because the two games on Thursday dictate who plays Friday (winner of Loyola/Bradley plays Wichita State and winner of Missouri State/Drake plays Evansville). The games being previewed in this article are the games that we currently know the matchups of.
8-seed Loyola vs. 9-seed Bradley
Tip-off: Thursday @ 6:00pm
Season Series: (1/13/16) BU 54 LU 53 – (2/10/16) LU 54 BU 43
Vegas Line: Loyola (-11)
What’s Next? The winner of this game goes on to play 1-seed Wichita State on Friday. Yikes.
Analysis: The two teams split the season series. Both teams won at home. Loyola has struggled this year but have also put together a couple nice wins. Bradley on the other hand only won two other conference games besides the win over Loyola. The game will be close in the first half and into the second half but Loyola will pull away late to win the game.
7-seed Missouri State vs. 10-seed Drake
Tip-off: Thursday @ 8:30pm
Season Series: (1/20/16) MSU 79 DU 70 – (2/24/16) MSU 61 DU 52
Vegas Line: Missouri State (-2)
What’s Next? The winner goes on to play 2-seed Evansville on Friday.
Analysis: While both teams struggled mightily this year, especially in conference play, Missouri State was able to top Drake by nine points in both regular season matchups. Unless Reed Timmer and Drake can put together a great game, I don’t see an upset happening. Missouri State moves on.
4-seed Northern Iowa vs. 5-seed Southern Illinois
Tip-off: Friday @ 2:30pm
Season Series: (1/2/16) SIU 75 UNI 73 – (1/31/16) UNI 67 SIU 58
Vegas Line: Northern Iowa (-5)
What’s Next? The winner plays the winner of the Wichita State/Loyola OR Bradley game.
Analysis: In both regular season games between these two, the home team won. The game is in St. Louis and that is much closer for SIU rather than UNI. Whether that makes a difference, will be determined Friday. Both teams are quality MVC teams and this game is a near guarantee to be a close, thrilling game. But because of UNI’s ability to come through in big games (North Carolina, Iowa State, Wichita State), I’m giving the Panthers the edge and say they’ll win by about four.
3-seed Illinois State vs. 6-seed Indiana State
Tip-off: Friday @ 8:30pm
Season Series: (1/9/16) Ind St 77 Ill St 65 – (2/17/16) Ill St 78 Ind St 50
Vegas Line: Illinois State (-8)
What’s Next? The winner advances to play the winner of the Evansville vs. MO State OR Drake game on Saturday.
Analysis: The Redbirds slipped up early on in conference play, losing to the Sycamores. But apart from a couple late losses, the Redbirds have been playing exceptional basketball lately. Illinois State won 6 of their last 8 conference games. They beat Indiana State by over 20 in the previous matchup and should be able to handle the Sycamores once again. Redbirds win by roughly 12.
Stay tuned for more Arch Madness coverage.