Creighton will be looking to become just the sixth team in the history of the MVC Tournament to win a back-to-back title as the Bluejays enter this year's event as the No. 1 seed. Creighton (24-7) and Wichita State (24-7) enter the tourney with 24 wins, marking just the second time in 37 years that the league had two 24-win teams at the start of the tournament.
The league has had six different regular-season champs in the past seven seasons (Southern Illinois-2007, Drake-2008, UNI/Creighton-2009, UNI-2010, Missouri State-2011, Wichita State-2012, and Creighton-2013).
- Complete tournament notes are available at the right (PDF)
Good News for Champs?
In the 36 seasons the league has conducted a post-season tournament - since 1977, there have been 41 regular-season champions (outright or shared). 33 of those 41 teams have earned either the AQ or an at-large berth into the NCAAs.
Wichita State has been one of the nation's most dominant teams in the past four seasons, ranking No. 10 among all schools with 105 total wins. Creighton (t-28th with 94 wins) also represents the MVC on that list. The Shockers' four-year win total of 105 is the most for WSU in its history in a four-year period.
Evansville enters the tournament with a 4-game win streak, but the hottest team since Feb. 1 is Northern Iowa. The Panthers are 7-2 (7-1 in MVC) since the start of February, and leading scorer Anthony James missed part or all of the two games UNI lost (leg contusion).
Creighton's Doug McDermott is the only player in the nation to have scored more than 2,000 points in the past 3 seasons. Nate Wolters of South Dakota State is 2nd (1,985). Colt Ryan of Evansville ranks 4th with 1,738 points since the beginning of 2010-11.
Creighton earned the 2012-13 MVC regular-season crown with a 13-5 conference record. The last time a league champ had more than four conference losses was in 1999 when Evansville took the title at 13-5. In fact, only three previous times in the MVC's 105-year history has a champion had five MVC losses (1998-99: Evansville; 1992-93: Illinois State was 13-5; and 1970-71: Drake, Louisville and Saint Louis all tied at 9-5).
First Time Ever
This year is the only year in the history of the MVC that all teams have at least six conference wins and at least 10 overall wins. The only other season in which all teams had six or more league wins was in 1992-93. The MVC has had all 10 teams reach 10 wins on a number of occasions (5 of the past 10 years, including this year).
Every Team in
During Creighton's 15-year post-season run, every league team has appeared in the NCAA Tournament. In that span, CU's eight NCAA bids are the most, and only five MVC teams have had multi-NCAA bids.
No. 1 Seed "Success"
Drake and UNI swept the regular-season and tournament titles in 2008, 2009 and 2010, but before that the last No. 1 seed to win the league tourney was Illinois State in 1998. Counting 2012, the top-seeded team has won the tournament 13 times in 36 tournaments, but it has happened only six times in the 22-year history in St. Louis. No. 2 seeded Creighton won last year's championship.
Best Pole Position?
Thirty-four of 36 previous tournament champions were seeded 1, 2, or 3. The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds have had the most success, with both positions claiming 14 titles. The No. 2 seed has had the most success in St. Louis, with eight titles in 22 tries. Creighton (1999, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2012), UNI (2004), and Southern Illinois (1993, 2006) were No. 2 seeds and won the tournament those seasons.
Worst Pole Position?
The sixth-seeded teams have gone a combined 2-22 in tournament games in St. Louis. Since the league expanded to its current 10-team format in 1997, only one team that has played in the opening round has reached the semifinals (won two games). Bradley, seeded a No. 7 in 1998, beat 10th-seeded Drake and then it toppled No. 2 seed Creighton, before falling in the semifinals to Missouri State.
Top Seed = NCAA
In 2011, Missouri State became the first No. 1 MVC Tournament seed and regular-season champ in 18 years not selected for the NCAA Tournament. Every top seed for the MVC Tournament had earned an NCAA bid since 1993 when Illinois State lost to second-seeded Southern Illinois in the finals. Notably, only five top-seeded teams in 36 MVC tournaments have failed to reach the NCAAs (Missouri State-2011, Illinois State-1993, Southern Illinois-1992, Southern Illinois-1990, Bradley-1982).
In league history, only Southern Illinois (1993-94-95) has won three-straight conference tourneys. A team has won back-to-back conference tournament titles only five previous times.
Non Top-Three Champs
The only two teams to earn the league's tournament champion with seeds worse than a No. 3 are Creighton (No. 4 in 2000) and Indiana State (No. 5 in 2001).
We Meet Again
This year, two pairs of teams faced each other on the last day of the regular season and will meet in their first games at the MVC Tournament (Indiana State/Evansville and Illinois State/UNI). In the 22-year history of the tournament in St. Louis, that has happened 12 times (including this year). In the 10 previous occurrences, the team that has won the regular-season finale has also won the rematch seven times, including the last three times.
Non-Champs in NCAAs?
New Mexico State (1979), Illinois State (1985), Wichita State (1988), Missouri State (1999), UNI (2005), Bradley (2006) and UNI (2006) are the only at-large qualifiers from The Valley who failed to win the league regular-season or tourney title in the year they qualified.
Two with 24 Wins
Wichita State (24) and Creighton (24) have reached 24 wins for the season. It will mark the fourth-straight season that two MVC teams will enter the MVC Tournament with 23+ wins. In fact, counting this year, it's only happened four times in the tournament's 37 years. Notably, it's the second time that two teams will enter Arch Madness with 24+ wins.
Two Teams, 23+ Wins in Arch Madness
2010 -- UNI (25), Wichita State (23)
2011 -- Missouri State (23), Wichita State (23)
2012 -- Wichita State (26), Creighton (25)
2013 -- Wichita State (24), Creighton (24)
The league has also had two recent narrow misses. In 2008, Drake had 25 wins pre-tournament and Illinois State, 22. While Creighton (25) and Illinois State (22) combined for 47 in 2009.
Going for a Dozen
With 11 tourney crowns, Creighton owns the most MVC Tournament titles of any Valley school, and the Bluejays will be looking to become the sixth team to repeat. UNI most recently accomplished the feat, winning back-to-back crowns in 2009 and 2010.
Hands of Steal
Bradley's Dyricus Simms-Edwards (84) and Walt Lemon Jr. (67) are both in the NCAA Top 15 in steals this season. Notably, their combined total of 151 is rapidly approaching the league's all-time single-season record for steals by teammates.
Most Steals, MVC teammates, same season
155 – Paul Pressey/Mike Anderson, Tulsa (1980-81)
151 - Simms-Edwards/Lemon Jr. (2012-13)
145 – Nate Green/Michael Menser, INS (1999-00)
145 – Larry Bird/Carl Nicks, INS (1978-79)
143 – Bryan Mullins/Tony Young, SIU (2005-06)
143 - Rob Dye/Eric Roberson, Bradley (1998-99)
142 - Hersey Hawkins/Anthony Manuel, BU (1987-88)
139 – Darren Brooks/Tony Young, SIU (2004-05)
139 - Latrell Wrightsell/Duan Cole, CU (1991-92)
Simms-Edwards No. 6
Bradley's Dyricus Simms-Edwards (84) enters the tournament sixth all-time on the league's single-season steals charts.
Most Steals, season
96 – Paul Pressey, Tulsa (1980-81)
94 – Bryan Mullins, Southern Illinois (2005-06)
92 – Nate Green, Indiana State (1999-00)
92 - Darren Brooks, Southern Illinois (2004-05)
85 - Larry Bird, Indiana State, 1978-79)
84 - Dyricus Simms-Edwards, BU (2012-13)
Carmichael - 1 of 12
Illinois State's Jackie Carmichael is one of just 12 players in MVC history with 1,500 career points and 900 career rebounds. He notched both milestones in ISU's game at Evansville.
MVC Players with 1,500 Points, 900 Boards
Wes Unseld, UL (1,686 points, 1,551 rebounds)
Xavier McDaniel, WSU (2,152 points, 1,359 reb.)
Oscar Robertson, UC (2,973 points, 1,338 reb.)
Larry Bird, INS (2,850 points, 1,247 rebounds)
Ashraf Amaya, SIU (1,864 points, 1,137 rebounds)
Bob Harstad, CU (2,110 points, 1,126 rebounds)
Chet Walker, BU (1,975 points, 1,036 rebounds)
Benoit Benjamin, CU (1,575 points, 1,005 reb.)
Eric Coleman, UNI (1,522 points, 997 rebounds)
Slab Jones, NMSU (1,758 points, 951 rebounds)
Mitchell Anderson, BU (2,341 points, 947 reb.)
Jackie Carmichael, ILS (1,543 pts., 927 reb.)