Valentine’s Day is here, so it’s time to jump on the love train for a few minutes…
Missouri State and Indiana State were the only teams to win twice last week, but the bottomfeeders stole the show this week with solid home wins (BU over UE and DU over CU), close calls (BU’s loss to MSU) and a huge upset. Southern Illinois traveled to Koch Arena and beat the first-place Shockers despite having a 4-9 conference record and playing without four regular players. The Salukis tipped off as a 17-point underdog, making it the biggest shocker (sorry… couldn’t resist) in the league in several years.
The effect? Probably not much – the NCAA Selection Committee isn’t likely to select two teams from a league ranked in the double-digits anyhow. Wichita State and Missouri State would have to win all of their remaining games, save for their matchup against each other, and face off in the Arch Madness final – and then it would take a miracle to see both teams have their ticket punched on Selection Sunday. Love train, be damned.
Ok – enough of my rant. You didn’t come here to listen to that… look for my full Bracketbuster preview this week!
1. Missouri State- 20-6, 12-3
Last week: win vs. BU 77-69, win @ILSU 68-59
This week: vs. DU Tue., @Valparaiso Sat. – Bracketbuster
Comments: Forward Kyle Weems has averaged 23.5 points in his last four games against Bradley.
2. Wichita State- 21-5, 12-3
Last week: loss vs. SIU 53-56, win @UNI 73-55
This week: @UE Tue., vs. VCU Fri. – Bracketbuster
Comments: Toure Murry is averaging 14.7 points and 8.7 rebounds in his last three games.
3. Indiana State- 14-12, 9-6
Last week: win @ILSU 56-46, win vs. DU 75-63
This week: @SIU Wed., vs. Morehead State Sat. – Bracketbuster
Comments: Jake Odum is averaging 16.0 points and 5.8 rebounds in his last five games.
4. Evansville- 14-11, 8-7
Last week: win vs. UNI 70-62, loss @BU 54-68
This week: vs. WSU Tue., @Murray State Sat. – Bracketbuster
Comments: Lewis Jones has provided a great spark off the bench over the last six games.
5. Creighton- 16-11, 8-7
Last week: loss @ DU 64-67, win vs. SIU 69-50
This week: vs. ILSU Wed., @Akron Sat. – Bracketbuster
Comments: Gregory Echenique had 23 points and 19 rebounds on 66.6%FG shooting last week.
6. Northern Iowa- 18-9, 9-6
Last week: loss @UE 62-70, loss vs. WSU 55-73
This week: @BU Tue., vs. George Mason Sat. – Bracketbuster
Comments: Anthony James is averaging 14.6 points and 5.5 rebounds in his last six games.
7. Drake- 11-15, 6-9
Last week: win vs. CU 67-64, loss @INSU 63-75
This week: @MSU Tue., vs. Detroit Sat. – Bracketbuster
Comments: Seth VanDeest averaged 14.5 points on 64.2% shooting last week.
8. Southern Illinois- 11-15, 5-10
Last week: win @WSU 56-53, loss @CU 50-69
This week: vs. INSU Wed., vs. Green Bay Sat. – Bracketbuster
Comments: Kendal Brown-Surles is averaging 13.7 points and 4.3 assists in his last three games.
9. Bradley- 9-17, 3-12
Last week: loss @MSU 69-77, win vs. UE 68-54
This week: vs. UNI Tue., @Tennessee-Martin Sat. – Bracketbuster
Comments: Dyricus Simms-Edwards is averaging 17.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.3 assists in his last four games.
10. Illinois State- 11-15, 3-12
Last week: loss vs. INSU 46-56, loss vs. MSU 59-68
This week: @CU Wed., @Western Michigan Sat. – Bracketbuster
Comments: Freshman Jon Ekey has blocked at least one shot in 12 consecutive games.
Previous weeks’ Power Rankings: