World-Herald staff writer Steven Pivovar ranks the Missouri Valley Conference as published in The World-Herald on Feb. 20. RPI rankings are from NCAA.com.
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1. Wichita State (23-5, 12-4, 33rd)
This week: Detroit. The Shockers can clinch at least a share of their second straight regular-season championship by winning one of two remaining league games.
2. Creighton (22-6, 11-5, 43rd)
This week: at St. Mary's. Despite recent shooting woes, the Bluejays still lead the nation in 3-point percentage and are second in field-goal percentage.
3. Northern Iowa (17-11, 10-6, 70th)
This week: Denver. The Panthers have played their way out of play-in round in St. Louis by winning eight of their past 10, including season-high six in a row.
4. Indiana State (16-11, 9-7, 61st)
This week: Iona. Three-game losing skid has derailed Sycamores title hopes and ended any talk of an NCAA tournament at-large bid.
5. Illinois State (16-11, 7-8, 113th)
This week: at Evansville, at Utah State. Jackie Carmichael needs five points and 14 rebounds to become seventh player in league history to score 1,500 points and grab 900 rebounds.
6. Bradley (15-12, 7-8, 171st)
This week: at Drake, at Illinois-Chicago. Guards Walt Lemon Jr. and Dyricus Simms-Edwards need 19 steals to break league record of 155 by two players.
7. Evansville (14-13, 7-8, 148th)
This week: Illinois State, at Wright State. Freshman center Egidijius Mockevicius showing signs of becoming productive big man program sorely needs.
8. Missouri State (8-20, 6-10, 222nd)
This week: at Eastern Michigan. Four losses in past five games raise question of whether Bears' freshman-dominated roster is hitting a February wall.
9. Southern Illinois (11-16, 4-12, 194th)
This week: Miami (Ohio). Barry Hinson might deserve a vote or two for coach of the year for keeping undermanned Salukis moving forward.
10. Drake (11-15, 5-10, 166th)
This week: Bradley, Green Bay. League's worst defensive team has given up an average of 80 points in losing four straight for the second time this season.