The Missouri Valley Conference has produced several bracket-busting mid-major teams in recent years, with none being more prominent than Loyola-Chicago. The Ramblers are leaving the conference after this season for greener pastures in the Atlantic 10, meaning the other teams in this group will have to show they can keep this conference relevant going forward.
We’ll be taking a look at some of the best teams in each conference, and providing picks and predictions for each conference tournament. Plenty of favorites will win, but we’ve got some sleepers to consider that might be able to pull off a big upset on the way to the NCAA Tournament.
All odds are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
Favorite: Loyola-Chicago (+130)
The Ramblers have had the most success in the NCAA Tournament of late, but they’re not as dominant in this tournament as one might expect. Loyola has won two of the past four MVC tournaments but doesn’t feature prominently outside of that stretch. Lucas Williamson and Braden Norris have this team buzzing once again, although the ceiling of this group might not be as high as past seasons.
Sleeper: Bradley (+900)
Bradley has slayed some giants in previous March Madness brackets and has won two of the last four MVC conference tournaments. The Braves went back-to-back before Loyola prevented them from getting a three-peat, but this school is the one with more staying power in this conference. Don’t count Bradley out here.
Dark Horse: Drake (+650)
Drake had a four-game winning streak coming into the regular-season finale. The Bulldogs have already knocked off Loyola this season and have four guards averaging double figures, headlined by freshman Tucker Devries. This is an experienced team looking for revenge after losing last year’s MVC tournament final to Loyola.
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