RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Thursday, March 4

S14: Top 14 Returning Scorers in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament

The Missouri Valley Conference shootout affectionately called Arch Madness kicks off today in St. Louis with a pair of first round elimination games, leading up to a Sunday afternoon championship that will crown a popular upset pick into the Sweet 16 on a lot of gambling brackets in two weeks time. The MVC is known for making trouble in the NCAA tournament, disrupting the major conference get-together that it seems the NCAA would prefer. Here are the top 14 returning players by how many points they've scored in previous Arch Madnesses...
#1: Osiris Eldridge (Illinois State guard; 114 previous points in the MVC tournament) - Not only does he have the most gangsta ass name in the MVC, but Osiris Eldridge is probably the most gamebreaking presence in the league as well. Illinois State is only seeded third, but still a very real threat to win the tourney, opening up tomorrow against the Bradley Braves.
#2: Josh Young (Drake guard; 74 previous points in the MVC tournament) - Young is the senior leadership behind this Drake team, and is one of the Bulldogs all-time great shooters, but that's not going to mean too much, as Drake enters the tourney as the #8 seed, playing Southern Illinois on first round Thursday.
#3: Adam Koch (Northern Iowa forward; 65 previous points in the MVC tournament) - Northern Iowa comes into Arch Madness as the #1 seed and a Top 25 team nationally, as well as the defending Missouri Valley Champion. Koch is that traditional MVC whiteboy - all-academic team, and can drain 3-pointers as a forward. He's been a floor leader for the Panthers, and is surrounded by a pretty decent cast of cats that, if the Panthers can storm through the MVC tourney, could get a really nice seed in the Big Dance.
#4: Kwadzo Ahelegbe (Northern Iowa guard; 60 previous points in the MVC tournament) - A key part of the Panthers nucleus of basketball productivity, yet only a junior, which means he shall be MVC preseason royalty next year, because Missouri Valley Conference guys don't leave school early.
#5: P'Allen Stinnett (Creighton guard; 44 previous points in the MVC tournament) - Well, Stinnett is only active so far as being on the roster, as this junior star for Creighton got suspended for the rest of the season back in January for conduct detrimental to the team, which basically means he and the coach didn't get along and he's going to transfer. You don't normally see "conduct detrimental to the team" and season-ending suspensions before a miraculous turnaround the following season. Creighton still comes into the MVC tournament the #4 seed, going up against Indiana State on Friday afternoon.
#6: Sam Maniscalco (Bradley guard; 43 previous points in the MVC tournament) - If ever there was a dude born with a name destined to host a sports talk radio show in a small market city, it would be this guy.
#7: Rashad Reed (Indiana State guard; 36 previous points in the MVC tournament) - Senior guard would like to see Indiana State have a return to glory (this is the school Larry Bird came from), but the Sycamores are middle-of-the-pack in this year's MVC, opening up in the tournament against Creighton tomorrow in the #4/#5 seed game.
#8: J.T. Durley (Wichita State forward/center; 35 previous points in the MVC tournament) - The Shockers are Arch Madness's #2 seed, and more importantly, the Wichita State Shockers have the most awesome logo going through my brain right now, with a cracked out degenerate wheat stalk man of some sort balling his fists up like he's about to get all back woods pugilist on motherfuckers. Junior sharpshooter J.T. Durley goes hot and cold, and that will probably decide whether Wichita State can knock Northern Iowa off or even just survive the MVC battle royal this weekend.
#9: Harry Marshall (Indiana State guard; 34 previous points in the MVC tournament) - Another senior in the back court to go along with Rashad Reed. Usually this time of year, an upperclassmen back court can make a difference, so perhaps Indiana State can upset their way into the MVC title game on Sunday.
#10: Kenny Lawson Jr. (Creighton center; 33 previous points in the MVC tournament) - Lawson is having a solid junior year and helped pick up the slack from the suspension of Stinnett, and what the fuck happened to tall people? How are you the best center in a mid-major conference standing at 6'9"?
#11: Dinma Odiakosa (Illinois State forward; 30 previous points in the MVC tournament) - A powerful senior forward, who along with Osiris Eldridge, make the Redbirds a serious threat to upset Northern Iowa's automatic apple cart into the NCAA tournament.
#12: Aaron Ellis (Wichita State forward; 29 previous points in the MVC tournament) - He is a guy who plays basketball.
#13: Cavel Witter (Creighton guard; 29 previous points in the MVC tournament) - Senior guard who's seen enough of the clusterfuck Missouri Valley Conference to know that all they have to do is get hot for three days to get into the NCAA tournament.
#14: Ali Farokhmanesh (Northern Iowa guard; 28 previous points in the MVC tournament) - This Iranian-American Iowan with the wacky Homeland Security double-checking name will be one those TV basketball talking head dudes name drop when it comes time to discuss mid-major schools that could be this year's Cinderellas in the NCAA tournament. Ali can drain 3s all night long, and if he can get hot and the team around him can stay steady, they could still be playing deep into March.

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