Sunday, March 05, 2006

Bradley Vs. Southern Illinois

Missouri Valley title game

The Missouri Valley tourney title game will take place today with an all-Illinois matchup: Bradley vs Southern Illinois. Hey, that's just how we roll 'round these parts, baby.

I just noticed that the game will be aired on CBS. Yes, CBS! On a Sunday afternoon! Dick Enberg! When did this happen? The MVC title game has traditionally aired on ESPN on a weeknight, essentially just the latest in a long line of conference title games during Championship Week.

The coming out party continues.

All season long the MVC has been praised for being the most underrated conference in the country, with anywhere from four to six teams expected to be selected for the tourney a week from now, but CBS? This is the red carpet treatment, baby. This is college basketball royalty. The Savvis should be packed. I'd dare say the MVC is slowly approaching status as big time.

The game today should be a dandy, too. Bradley has been getting slept on all season long, by yours truly included. The NBA hasn't, however, and Marcellus Sommervile and 7-foot Patrick O'Bryant will most definitely be getting thorough looks today.

Both Bradley and SIU should be NCAA locks by this point. Bradley now has 20 wins, an appearance in the MVC title game by knocking off fellow NCAA hopefuls Creighton and Wichita State, and an RPI of 28, directly above Cincinnati, Kentucky, Florida, and Boston College. The Braves have also won six in a row and 11 of 13. They're hot. Thet haven't been this good since the days of Hersey Hawkins.

Meanwhile, the Salukis likewise have an appearance in the MVC title game to go along with their second-place finish during the regular season. Listen, if the MVC is getting at least four teams, you can't tell me that the Salukis haven't proven themselves to be among the top two. Twice. Saying otherwise would be absurd. What else do they have to do to prove it? I don't care if the Salukis RPI is lower than a few other MVC contenders. You can throw away the RPI in this case. The RPI is fine and all, but direct results on the court should be more important. The Salukis have yet again done enough to deserve a bid.

I love me some MVC basketball. Good, solid, get-down-and-get-dirty basketball.


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