Arch Madness is always one of the most fun conference tournament’s in college basketball, and this year will be no exception with a talented field and huge stakes. The 2023 Missouri Valley Conference tournament will run March 2 through March 5 in St. Louis, Missouri at the Enterprise Center. The winner will punch their automatic bid to the 2023 men’s NCAA tournament.
The Missouri Valley is likely to be a one-bid league this year, which means the entire season comes down to the conference tournament. The MVC is traditionally one of the strongest mid-major conferences, and this year it features two powerhouse teams in Drake and Bradley, who will be the favorites to win the conference tournament championship.
Bradley won the conference in the regular season by defeating Drake in the last game. Head coach Brian Wardle has built a terrific team by recruiting internationally: he’s top two scorers — 6’9 big men Rienk Mast and Malevy Leons — are both from the Netherlands. The Braves get it done on the defensive end, entering the field with the No. 38 defense in the country. Bradley’s last men’s NCAA tournament appearance came in 2019.
Drake also has big dreams behind the father-son duo of head coach Darian DeVries and star forward Tucker DeVries. The sophomore DeVries is likely to be MVC Player of the Year, and has drawn some interest from NBA teams as a potential second round pick for his combination of height (6’7) and shooting. He has a veteran supporting cast around him, featuring multiple five-year players. Guards Roman Penn and D.J. Wilkins will drive the offense from the perimeter, while big man Darnell Brodie locks down the paint on the interior.
Belmont, the No. 4 seed, feels like a solid bet as a sleeper. The Bruins have the best offense in the conference, and are led by 6’6 senior wing Ben Sheppard. Here’s the bracket and schedule for the 2023 Arch Madness tournament with the Missouri Valley.
2023 men’s MVC tournament bracket
2023 men’s MVC tournament schedule
March 2 First Round
Game 1: No. 8 Northern Iowa 75, No. 9 Illinois State 62
Game 2: No. 5 Indiana State 97, No. 12 Evansville 58
Game 3: No. 7 Murray State 78, No. 10 Valparaiso 50
Game 4: No. 6 Missouri State 74, No. 11 UIC 57
March 3 Quarterfinals
Game 5: No. 1 Bradley 72, No. 8 Northern Iowa 66
Game 6: No. 5 Indiana State 94, No. 4 Belmont 91
Game 7: No. 2 Drake 74, No. 7 Murray State 62
Game 8: No. 3 Southern Illinois 54, No. 6 Missouri State 51
March 4 Semifinals
Game 9: No. 1 Bradley 71, No. 5 Indiana State 70
Game 10: No. 2 Drake 65, No. 3 Southern Illinois 52
March 5 Championship
Game 11: No. 2 Drake 77, No. 1 Bradley 51