Much remains to be determined as the final week of the Missouri Valley Conference season begins Tuesday with three league contests. Three teams (Creighton, Illinois State and UNI) all enter the final two games with a chance of claiming the league's regular-season crown and No. 1 tournament seed. Opening-round games of the State Farm MVC Tournament begin Thursday, March 5.
For a comprehensive printed version of the weekly MVC release (which includes school-by-school results and notes), please click on the downloadable PDF link near the bottom of the this page.
State Farm Missouri Valley Player of the Week
Booker Woodfox, Creighton, Sr., 6-1, Gd., Lewisville (Texas) High
Woodfox led Creighton to wins over Evansville and George Mason last week, averaging 17.5 points per game while moving into the national lead in three-point percentage thanks to 8-of-9 shooting from downtown. Woodfox made 13-of-20 shots from the field (65 percent) and 8-of-9 attempts from three-point range (88.9 percent) while also sinking his only free throw attempt of the week. Woodfox had 13 points in the win over Evansville on Tuesday, including 3-for-3 shooting from downtown. He closed out his week with one of the top performances of the season, scoring 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting in CU's win over George Mason. Woodfox drained 5-of-6 three-point attempts in the win.
Newcomer of the Week
Chris Roberts, Bradley, Jr., 6-4, Gd., Fort Worth (Texas) Dunbar HS [Navarro College]
? Roberts averaged 15.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.0 apg and 1.0 spg while helping Bradley to a 2-0 week. Coming off the bench in both games, Roberts shot a combined 80 percent from both the floor (8-10) and 3-point range (4-5), while also making all 10 of his free throw attempts. In Tuesday’s win against Missouri State, Roberts had 12 points, two rebounds and two steals, then followed with 18 points, five rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot in Saturday’s victory at Loyola-Chicago.
?In addition to the league’s player and newcomer of the week selections, several conference players had notable performances, and they include:
?Only one team (Missouri State) knows what seed it will be in the upcoming State Farm MVC Tournament. With 10 league games left, a total of 1,024 different scenarios exist.
|Possible Seeds||Best||Worst||Remaining Games|
|Bradley||4||6||at Evansville, Drake|
|Creighton||1||3||at Missouri State, Illinois State|
|Drake||4||9||Southern Illinois, at Bradley|
|Evansville||4||9||Bradley, at UNI|
|Illinois State||1||3||UNI, at Creighton|
|Indiana State||5||9||at Wichita State, Missouri State|
|Missouri State||10||10||Creighton, at Indiana State|
|UNI||1||3||at Illinois State, Evansville|
|Southern Illinois||5||9||at Drake, Wichita State|
|Wichita State||5||9||Indiana State, at Southern Illinois|
First Time Ever?
?If Illinois State wins at least one game this week, the league will have two teams with 23 or more wins. It will mark the first time in league history (32 previous events) that two teams entered tournament play with 23+ wins. Last year Drake had 25 wins pre-tournament and Illinois State, 22.
Winner Take All?
?The last time the league had teams tied for first play each other on the last day of the regular season was in 1984-85. Tulsa, Wichita State and Illinois State all entered the final day of the regular season (March 2) with identical 11-4 records. Tulsa beat Wichita State, 67-66 at Tulsa, while Illinois State lost at Bradley, 82-69. Tulsa won the regular-season; WSU won the tournament; and all three teams played in the NCAA Tournament.
?Nine of 10 Valley members have reached double-digit wins, and Indiana State has nine victories heading into this week's contests. The league has had all of its members reach 10 wins only nine times previously in the 101-year history of the league (1954, 1955, 1956, 1963, 1971, 1985, 2000, 2005, and 2007).
MVC 20-Game Winners
?Including this year, the Valley has had a minimum of two 20-game winners in each of the past 11 seasons. The league has had four or most 20-win teams for five-straight seasons, setting an all-time record with 6 in 2005-06. The previous mark (4) has been reached five times (1994-95, 1999-00, 2003-04, 2004-05, 2006-07, 2007-08).
20 Wins Important?
?Since the NCAA Tournament field was expanded to 64 teams (1985), 62 Valley teams, including three last year, have posted 20 wins prior to "Selection Sunday." Forty-three have reached the NCAAs, and another 18 were in the NIT (Creighton was 20-12 in 1985 and did not reach the post-season -- the only MVC team with 20 wins not to reach post-season play since '85).
Active 20-Win Streaks
?Creighton has reached the 20-win plateau for a league-record 11th-straight season. In the 102-year history of The Valley, only five schools have won 20 games six-straight years, including Cincinnati (1957-58 to 1962-63), Bradley (1956-57 to 1961-62) Oklahoma State (1943-44 to 1948-49), and Southern Illinois (2001-02 to 2006-07), plus the current streak by Creighton. The MVC has had at least four 20-win teams for five-straight years.
Active 20-Win Streaks in The Valley
11 - Creighton (1998-99 - 2008-09)
3 - Bradley (2005-06 - 2007-08)
2 - Illinois State (2007-08 - 2008-09)
1 - Drake (2007-08)
MVC Champs = NCAA
?Including Drake last year, 15-straight Missouri Valley regular-season champions have reached the NCAA tournament. Illinois State (1992-93) was the last to win the league’s regular-season crown and not make it. Drake is the first Valley team since 1998 (Illinois State that year) to sweep the regular-season and tournament titles.