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I've said before I thought the MVC was better this year. Not much, much better. But better. Bradley impresses me the most, then Wichita State. I thought Southern Illinois, though a good team, was the weakest of the four entries, and yet they won the conference tournament. Looking at the MVC rosters the other day, the league loses a large number of key seniors, so I expect some dropoff next year, but it's been a great season for the valley.

Similarly, the Colonial has shown its worth. Wilmington and George Mason are borderline top 25 teams, perhaps Mason is even better than that. And Hofstra is pretty darned good, too. They had a legitimate beef about not getting an invite.

I've seen GM quite a bit in recent years, including a few games in person. Somebody from the A-10 should have hired Jim Larranaga years ago. I think the Dukes talked to him once, but he withdrew from consideration. I could see why given the former leadership at the school.

What I want to know is how did some of those players end up at GM and not in the A-10. Will Thomas, the Butler kid (I think Richmond recruited him), Lewis. Seems like we are missing the boat on some talented kids, particularly those in Maryland.

Is the Colonial better than the A-10? I am not quite prepared to concede that, but a case certainly can be made. The top 3-4 teams are damn good. By the end of the season, though, I liked how Xavier and St. Joe's were playing and GW had a great year. Nonetheless, the Colonial gets credit for noncon success.

What the tournament has shown this week is how much parity there is in college ball -- and how leagues are prone to cycles. While the A-10 always has a lot of work to do to maintain its competitiveness and to keep within sight of the big boys, I think we as fans have to recognize that it's not always about our failings as it is about the relative success of other leagues.

Forget the MVC vs A-10. You could say the MVC is better than the Big 10 this year! The MVC gets four teams in the Dance, goes 4-2 and sends two teams to the Sweet 16. Meanwhile, the Big 10 sends 6 schools, goes 3-6 and sends ZERO teams to the Sweet 16.

And the Big 10 was the No. 1 rated conference by the RPI. As I always say, you can't trust the data alone. Sometimes you have to see with your own eyes. What my eyes tell me is that there are a lot of good teams in college ball, perhaps more than ever, and they dont all play in the top six conferences.
 

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To be fair to Nantz and Packer, in the very same game RI Red refers to, both guys admitted that they had been wrong about the Valley. They made those comments after the "some people" remark. In the NYT today, Packer is also quoted as saying: "they proved what they can do, so my opinion is useless. If every team (from the MVC) had lost, does that mean those teams can't play? No."
 

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On the MVC, yes, the league will be good again next year, but some star power will certainly be lost. Miller isnt exactly replaceable, nor is a player like Glenn Somerville. NIU loses arguably its best two players. Seems that SIU and Missouri State, and Creighton if Funk is back, will be very good. Having a kid like O'Bryant stick around should also keep Bradley in the running. Can they duplicate what they did this year next season? That will be tough. Again, though, the MVC is a quality league. They aren't going anywhere. Unlike some, I dont see the MVC and A-10 in competition. We rarely recruit the same kids and it's not a zero-sum game. Both leagues can be good at the same time.
 

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I’ll be curious to see who gets hired out of the MVC, StLouBlue. I think Altman is one of the best coaches in the country. Like John Beilein at West Virginia, he could make some big runs in the tournament at a higher level program.

The NUI coach impresses the heck out of me, too.

I’d be looking closely at MVC coaches if I were the AD of Missouri, Iowa State, Iowa (if Alford leaves) or Indiana. In fact, it's probably the first place I would look.
 
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