Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Odds: Loyola Chicago Solid Favorites to Make Back-to-Back March Madness Appearances
Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Loyola Chicago guard Lucas Williamson
The Missouri Valley Conference Tournament will tip off on Thursday night and Loyola Chicago is the favorite to repeat as champions.
That’s despite the fact that the Ramblers failed to win the regular season title for just the second time in five seasons.
Before this season, Loyola Chicago saw its mastermind Porter Moser take a six-year, roughly $18 million deal to run Oklahoma’s basketball program.
Drew Valentine, brother to former Chicago Bull Denzel Valentine, took over. While the Ramblers have struggled at times, the advanced metrics love this team yet again. They’re ranked No. 32 overall in the country via KenPom, highest in the conference.
Missouri State, the second-best ranking at No. 61 in the country according to KenPom, are the next-best favorites at +450.
Either team will in all likelihood need to win this conference tournament in order to earn a bid into the NCAA Tournament.
The conference’s regular season champion Northern Iowa is third-best favorites at +500.
Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Odds
Lines are according to BetMGM as of Wednesday afternoon
Bradley is the only other team to have won this conference tournament during Loyola’s reign of dominance, having done so during the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons.
This year, though, all the top teams have shots. Loyola has lost to Drake twice, Northern Iowa, Bradley and Missouri State — all four of the other teams that are likeliest to win this tournament.