ESPN created the Bracketbuster event to allegedly help mid-majors gain more national exposure. Without giving away my next full-length article, the focus has been lost, and it has turned into a slipper-cracking day for those on the losing end. A very small percentage of the 114 participating teams gained anything, and the two-day cyclone of basketball was a complete disaster for the Valley.
Per the rankings below, the top six Valley teams were defeated over the weekend, including NCAA at-large candidates Missouri State and Wichita State. The Valley went 3-7 overall, with the wins coming from Southern Illinois, Drake and Bradley – who had a combined overall record of 31-50 entering Saturday’s action… not exactly chasing a dance ticket.
The world will soon know if playing these games helped WSU and MSU, regardless of the outcome. In the meantime, this week marks the end of the Valley regular season, and the marquee matchup on Saturday between WSU and MSU to decide the league champion.
More complaining about ESPN later…
Here are the Missouri Valley Power Rankings – Week of February 21, 2011
1. Missouri State- 21-7, 13-3
Last week: win vs. DU 60-51, loss @Valparaiso 67-80
This week: @SIU Wed., WSU Sat.
Comments: Kyle Weems has scored in double figures in 24 consecutive games.
2. Wichita State- 22-6, 13-3
Last week: win @UE 80-74, loss vs. VCU 67-68
This week: vs. CU Wed., @MSU Sat.
Comments: Joe Ragland scored 28 points in 47 minutes last week.
3. Indiana State- 15-13, 10-6
Last week: win @SIU 77-72, loss vs. Morehead State 65-71
This week: @UNI Tue., vs. SIU Sat.
Comments: Dwayne Lathan averaged 18.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game last week.
4. Northern Iowa- 19-10, 10-6
Last week: win @BU 80-70, loss vs. George Mason 71-77
This week: vs. INSU Tue., @CU Sat.
Comments: Kwadzo Ahelegbe scored 50 points last week on 12-23 FG shooting and 19-22 from the foul line.
5. Creighton- 17-12, 9-7
Last week: win vs. ILSU 75-59, loss @Akron 67-76
This week: @WSU Wed., vs. UNI Sat.
Comments: Doug McDermott pulled down more than 20 rebounds in a week for the third time this season.
6. Evansville- 14-13, 8-8
Last week: loss vs. WSU 74-80, loss @Murray State 47-72
This week: @DU Wed., vs. ILSU Sat.
Comments: Colt Ryan scored 35 points last week, including 13-15 from the foul line.
7. Drake- 12-16, 6-10
Last week: loss @MSU 51-60, win vs. Detroit 84-76
This week: vs. UE Wed., @BU Sat.
Comments: Rayvonte Rice scored 39 points and added 12 rebounds and six steals last week.
8. Southern Illinois- 12-16, 5-11
Last week: loss vs. INSU 72-77, win vs. Green Bay 61-60
This week: vs. MSU Wed., @INSU Sat.
Comments: Mamadou Seck averaged 9.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 2.5 steals per game last week.
9. Bradley- 10-18, 3-13
Last week: loss vs. UNI 70-80, win @Tennessee-Martin 81-75
This week: @ILSU Tue., vs. DU Sat.
Comments: Jordan Prosser registered 14 rebounds and no turnovers last week.
10. Illinois State- 11-17, 3-13
Last week: loss @CU 59-75, loss @Western Michigan 65-68
This week: vs. BU Tue., @UE Sat.
Comments: Austin Hill is averaging 20.7 points in his last three games.
Previous weeks’ Power Rankings: