Updated 1/6/18: MVC Expansion Poll

Discuss the MVC hoops season here.

Choose two: Who do you think the MVC should add?

Murray State
62
46%
Northern Kentucky
25
19%
UW-Milwaukee
7
5%
Oakland
1
1%
South Dakota State
5
4%
Southeast Missouri State
1
1%
Belmont
19
14%
Grand Canyon
6
4%
UT-Arlington
5
4%
Denver
4
3%
 
Total votes : 135

Re: Updated 1/6/18: MVC Expansion Poll

Postby VUGrad1314 » February 5th, 2018, 11:29 am

Does UIC's recent run in. conference play put them under consideration in anyone's mind?
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Re: Updated 1/6/18: MVC Expansion Poll

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Re: Updated 1/6/18: MVC Expansion Poll

Postby Jsnhbe1Birds » February 5th, 2018, 12:08 pm

VUGrad1314 wrote:Does UIC's recent run in. conference play put them under consideration in anyone's mind?


I don't see the point of adding a second Chicago team.
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Re: Updated 1/6/18: MVC Expansion Poll

Postby VUGrad1314 » February 5th, 2018, 1:11 pm

I totally get that. I just wonder if maybe they could become another sleeping giant program like Loyola (though their potential is probably capped by being a part of the U of I system much like Milwaukee). It would make more sense if Milwaukee were some sort of prize worth having or if the league wanted Chicago to figure more prominently in it's future but I remember there being concerns about the league becoming too Chicago centric and proximity to St Louis is something the MVC is looking for in expansion candidates so I don't think they want to pull the conference center too far north especially when Chicago would be far from a neutral site. To me this poll has three right answers and those three are leading the poll right now: Murray State NKU and Belmont. Maybe SDSU and USD but I rate them far lower than the other three.
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Re: Updated 1/6/18: MVC Expansion Poll

Postby E-Villan » February 5th, 2018, 1:51 pm

I am not picking a fight, and am genuinely asking. Can any of you guys that are so hyped about expansion explain why this is a good thing at this point?

To me, you look at expansion either because you are at risk of losing members, or you feel this candidate can bring more revenue, exposure and tournament bids. Right now, I think we are as stable as we will ever be. I don't see anyone leaving anytime soon. Even if Missouri State does decide to upgrade football, we can always grab a Murray at that time.

To me, Murray is the only program that fits in with the conference. The publics are all very similar to Murray, and the privates are similar to each other. Long term, geographical rivalries help bridge the gap between the two..ie Southern and Indiana State with Evansville, Bradley and Illinois State, Drake and UNI, etc. I think it is important for a conference to have that type of identity. Murray is similar to Southern and the other publics, and has historical rivalries with the privates. Schools like NKU, UIC are large, commuter based schools that really don't fit in with any of the other schools. Other than possibly UIC and Loyola, there is no historical rivalry with any of them either.

There is no one available that will automatically bring us another bid. We were a one bid league with Wichita, and no one, even Murray is close to the level of them. Why divide the pie?

My preference is for the league to remain with the 10 we have, and we focus on improving ourselves from within. Collectively, we have done fairly well this year in regards to RPI, with no real drains on it among us. Every one of us has the ability to be successful, and have shown that ability in the past.
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Re: Updated 1/6/18: MVC Expansion Poll

Postby RacerJoeD » February 5th, 2018, 2:32 pm

I guess the only point that I would make in the expansion discussion (and I am a Racer fan in favor of MVC expansion that includes the Racers), is this- college basketball is not stagnant. I truly believe there is a major shift coming to college basketball that will drive a larger wedge between the CBB "haves' and "have nots". The only way to ensure that you aren't the baby thrown out with the bath water is to have the best mid major teams coalesce into a super MM conference. That would ensure that the media doesn't forget about you, which keeps the pressure on the selection committee.

The only thing worse than losing is to be irrelevant.
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Re: Updated 1/6/18: MVC Expansion Poll

Postby VUGrad1314 » February 5th, 2018, 3:05 pm

That's a fair question E-Villan and I will do my best to answer it:
Institutional Congruity matters (I wish Belmont felt the same way because if they did we'd have a fantastic 12 team league right now) but so does recruiting territory, and market. University presidents care about where they can draw students from and TV deals care about what markets you can reach. Adding a new market like Cincinnati which is a hoops hotbed or Nashville or Milwaukee gives a new market for TV and a new place from which to draw recruits and students and hopefully greater incentive for recruits to sign because it offers another close road game for family members to attend. All of the markets mentioned most prominently are within reasonable driving distance for all MVC members. In addition, the added TV and tuition revenue is surely greater than the lost bit of a single NCAA tournament unit which is only a few thousand dollars.

I don't buy your premise that adding Murray State and NKU doesn't enhance our conference profile. According to KenPom, Murray State and NKU would both be second in the MVC. Murray State would probably be in the top 75 or so in RPI and NKU would be knocking on the door of 100 as well. This would lead to more high quality games for the conference and both schools did a solid job in the nonconference so our RPI would remain strong. In addition to that, Murray State brings a dedicated fanbase that travels, meaning big bucks for the conference at Arch Madness. NKU oozes potential and local fans are really taking notice. They repeatedly draw 4000-5000 fans to their games. That number would go even higher against an MVC slate because NKU and Murray State would absolutely be competitive in the conference this year.

The MVC was a one bid league because Wichita State and Illinois State didn't get enough support from the rest of the conference (a fact that multiple MVC coaches will attest to. In this MVC multibids are possible, as you'll see next year. This Conference is loaded with young rising teams that haven't hit their stride yet. We appear poised to have 3 teams notching 20 plus wins in Loyola SIU and Bradley while two more (Missouri State and Evansville) have a chance to get there as well. And this isn't even the year and Bradley are supposed to be really good. Loyola isn't going anywhere Illinois State will be really good if Yarborough stays Indiana State has the potential to be solid UNI should get better with a point guard finally. Valparaiso should be better. Drake Indiana State Evansville and Missouri State should remain decent meaning no true bottom feeders. There will be plenty of support for the league's top teams next year especially if we can find two quality additions to the league.
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Re: Updated 1/6/18: MVC Expansion Poll

Postby Drakey » February 5th, 2018, 3:11 pm

There was a time when adding teams may have helped and possibly even avoided some defections. that time has passed.
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Re: Updated 1/6/18: MVC Expansion Poll

Postby VUGrad1314 » February 5th, 2018, 4:25 pm

I don't think UT-Arlington should be mentioned as a serious expansion candidate. 1. They're well outside the footprint 2. The are 15-10 and.500 in the Sun Belt with a roster full of upperclassmen that is about to get eviscerated by departures as many of the team's leading members exhaust their eligibility. To top it all off, they have no real fanbase to speak of (players have even called them out on Twitter for that). It's a commuter campus as well. If we're not into those in the case of UIC Milwaukee or (especially)NKU, why on Earth would we go for one that's further away and not measurably better than NKU?
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Re: Updated 1/6/18: MVC Expansion Poll

Postby E-Villan » February 6th, 2018, 10:55 am

Appreciate the replies and input. First, as far as Murray, I like Murray a lot. Simply put, they fit. They fit institutional wise, they fit geographically, and they fit historically. If we want to expand to 11 and take them, I am perfectly fine with that. It's the 12th I don't see a need for.

IMO, no one besides Belmont and NKU even need to be discussed. Let's start with Belmont. Yes, they fit institutionally. They fit geographically and even have some history...but it is by rolling weak conference teams. Supposedly they have rejected us, not sure if true or not, but they certainly haven't shown any public interest. We have fans pointing fingers at our own schools, accusing them of not having a commitment to winning, or improving, and we have a school pretty much writing it on the board that they don't feel like they are interested in making the jump. Belmont also does not guarantee any interest for our conference in Nashville. There are Bojangles locations down there that get bigger crowds than Belmont. If having a Nashville team was good for recruiting, the OVC would be loaded with talent. To me, Belmont is the average looking girl that is playing very hard to get. They should be persuing us, not the other way around. Murray is well beyond them, and look how hard they tried to get in. That is the type of program we need to be looking at. Not one acting like they could care less or not if we wanted them.

Admittedly, I know very little about NKU, except that they have about 5 years of D-1 history. That really isn't history. Yes, they have a decent RPI this year, but they are not playing MVC road games. I don't think them or Murray would have nearly the RPI they have playing in the MVC. Look at Valpo. Yes, I understand it was a rebuilding year, but none of us, and especially none of the Valpo fans thought they would be dead last this year. They probably wouldn't have ran away with the Horizon, but would at least be mid-pack. There isn't a road game in this league that is easy, regardless of the season. There are plenty of places in the Horizon and OVC where that isn't the case. Hard to be intimidated playing on the road in front of 400 people in a small gym. NKU's attendance was only 2800 last year, not 5000 a game. I don't think hovering at 500 or below in the MVC would improve it that greatly.

Also, I don't see it bringing a large chunk of the Cincinnati market for enrollment or recruiting. With the exception of Chicago, every MVC team is the dominant team within their market. In regards to Loyola, Chicago is a huge market, and no other team is really running it right now. Northwestern is Northwestern, Illinois is mediocre, and DePaul has turned into an annual dumpster fire. If Loyola gets some success, they very easily could be the talk of the town. Plus, Loyola has history and institutional fit. NKU on the other hand, is the 5th or possibly the 6th most popular team in Cincinnati. Ohio State and Kentucky aren't going anywhere, Xavier is a consistent top 20 team, and Cincinnati is always in play. I can't see NKU passing any of those teams in regards to media and fan interest in Cincinnati. Institutionally, NKU doesn't fit with any of us.

Everyone predicted the sky would fall when we lost Wichita, it didn't. Likewise, adding someone isn't going to take us to the promise land. The existing MVC schools kept us from sinking this year, and it is up to those same 10 to take us back to multiple bids. Why risk it, or share the pot with unknowns?
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Re: Updated 1/6/18: MVC Expansion Poll

Postby MissouriValleyUnite » February 6th, 2018, 11:21 am

But what are teams losing divying up the pot? Going from 1/12 (8.3%) share to 1/14 (7.1%) share. Peanuts. As long as the 2 expansion teams combine to add 2 units every 12 years via (a) at-large bid or (b) winning an NCAA tournament game, that share is already made-up. Anything more is money made.

Going by the last 12 years, Murray adds a first unit as an at-large in 2012 (6-seed), a second unit winning a game in 2010, and a third unit winning a game in 2012. That already earns a profit for the MVC even if the 12th team never sniffs the dance.

Also doesn’t include Murray’s snubbed 2015 team which finished the regular season ranked top 25 and lost the OVC final at the buzzer.

Keep in mind P5 leagues are moving to 20 games leaving slimmer NC schedules for MVC schools in years to come. Only way to combat that is moving to 20 games ourselves so those final 2 games are kept in-house instead of OVC and Horizon.

12 teams alleviates travel expenses in olympic sports. 20 games saves our projected at-large contender 10-12 RPI spots by only playing the bottom 2 once.

As for NKU, last year was truly their first D1 year and they gave Kentucky all it could handle for 30 minutes in March. Previous 4 years were transition years so there was no incentive for fans to follow them. Murray and NKU each would place 2nd in MVC in KenPom so they’d have better RPIs with MVC schedules even sacrificing a few wins.
Last edited by MissouriValleyUnite on February 6th, 2018, 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Updated 1/6/18: MVC Expansion Poll

Postby MissouriValleyUnite » February 6th, 2018, 11:40 am

I agree adding just to add dilutes the league across the board. Nebraska-Omaha, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, & Illinois-Chicago are adding just to add. It has to be teams with a realistic shot at adding NCAA Tourney units if not improving the league aggregate. Only Murray St, N Kentucky, Wright St, & Belmont might fit that criteria in our footprint. I wouldn’t entertain anything beyond Murray + NKU/WSU/Belmont either.
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Re: Updated 1/6/18: MVC Expansion Poll

Postby VUGrad1314 » February 6th, 2018, 2:21 pm

I'll level with you guys this really boils down to two things for me: 1. I want the MVC to regain multibid status and 2. I want Murray State in the MVC. I am up for any solution that makes that happen. 11 team league and 20 game double round robin? I'm all for it but it seems as though that's a non-starter. So we need a 12th. Belmont keeps standing us up, Dayton and SLU have their sights set higher that leaves NKU as the only program that makes real sense.I believe firmly in NKU's potential as a program and feel that they have the commitment and the chops to be a leading member of this conference. A move like this will probably allow them to keep their coach awhile longer. If we ever could get a suitable program to come along like Belmont if we were already at 12 I would love Wright State too. Passionate fanbase generally solid program good coach ideal NKU travel partner. Has played some MVC schools recently and has history with Loyola Valpo and NKU as former conference mates and further solidifies the MVC in southwestern Ohio.
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