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Missouri Valley Basketball: 2024 Conference Tournament preview and predictions

Is Indiana State the team to beat in this season's Missouri Valley Conference Tournament? And who are the key players to watch? 

2023 Indy Classic - Indiana State v Ball State
2023 Indy Classic - Indiana State v Ball State / Michael Hickey/GettyImages
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Semifinals and Finals

# 1 Indiana State v # 4 Northern Iowa

Unfortunately, we have gone ‘chalk’ most of the way but it stops here. The best chance for a big upset is this game. The deep, well-coached and now fast-paced Panthers (18-13, 12-8) have the skill set and unique depth that could interrupt the Sycamores’ special season. During UNI’s six-game hot streak, they have defeated both the second and third seeded teams in this tournament and had to defeat SIU on its home floor to be named the fourth seed themselves. They are capable. 

Prediction: Northern Iowa 83 – Indiana State 81

# 2 Drake v # 3 Bradley

These two coaches have had some great battles and Drake came away with two single-digit victories this season. Both have conference titles and Arch Madness hardware. This game will come down to defensive matchups. Will Brodie be able to enforce his will on the thinner Bradley frontcourt leapers. Will those same outstanding defenders be able to slow down DeVries? Can Conor Enright and Atin Wright hinder Deen and Hickman. These matchups will be a great chess match to behold. 

Prediction: Drake 67 – Bradley 64

The Final 

# 4 Northern Iowa v # 2 Drake

In the ‘all-Iowa final there will be good friends on all sides. Jacobson and DeVries both worked with Creighton head coach Greg McDermott. Numerous players on each roster are from Iowa and Minnesota. Drake seems more suited for this contest and to return to the NCAA Tournament. This will be a piece of basketball artwork.

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Two teams with similar cultures, but different styles will meet for postseason history. Look for Tucker DeVries to dominate this game.

Prediction: Drake 73 – UNI 69