This is part 7 of a 32-part series.
Southern Illinois 11-7
Illinois St 10-8
Indiana St 8-10
Missouri St 7-11
Northern Iowa 7-11
Arch Madness, neutral site in St Louis from March 1 to March 4.
1) Loyola vs. 8/9) Evansville/Northern Iowa
4) Drake vs. 5) Bradley
3) Illinois St vs. 6) Indiana St
2) Southern Illinois vs. 7/10) Missouri St/Valparaiso
MVC was CRPI #8 this year. Makes no sense, to be quite honest. How'd they pull off the trick? Nobody's bad. The worst RPI in the bunch of 176. Behind Loyola, they run 94, 85, 158, 114, 172, 132, 136, 140, 176. That's how you rise in CRPI.
Loyola could benefit from that, right? Nope. See, you have to be a top 70 team in order to represent a Group 1 opponent at home. Only away games against the top 135 count as Group 2 games. Therefore, in conference play, Loyola played 4 Group 2 games and 12 Group 3 games. Ouch. The MVC as a conference was just good enough to fall short of providing Loyola enough schedule beef.
As is, they did win at Florida, but a Group 3 and Group 4 loss combined with a non-con SoS of 258 is a very tough spot to come from to get an at-large. Not impossible, though.
Rest of the conference is missing the NIT. Even SIU is probably too far off that cutline. That could mean a flood of CIT/CBI teams if they want to go, as Valpo and Indiana St are the only sub-.500 teams at the moment.