I will be the first to admit..."Arch Madness" has been a disappointment. With the exception of Drake's buzzer beater on the first night, one could have slept through the last five minutes of most of the games and awaken fully content in the fact that they have missed nothing of consequence. But I have a good feeling about today. I am of the belief that today's final between Northern Iowa and Wichita State will make up for the boredom of the last four days with a potential classic that will even wake up the drunk Creighton fans.
A lot is at stake today. For Northern Iowa, entry into the NCAA Tournament is likely a given. But what the Panthers need to start worrying about is seeding in the Big Dance. If they can win the MVC and things play out in the major tournaments the way they hope, one could see a #6 or #7 seed in the cards and a real chance to make some noise. Lose this game however and the seeding drops, potentially into the dreaded 8/9 game and dreams of the Sweet 16 become much tougher to turn into reality.
For Wichita State however, it is a chance to change history. The Shockers are headed to the final of the conference tournament for the first time since 1987, and the history of underachievement in Arch Madness has weighed on the program. This year the Shockers have been overshadowed in conference all year by their brethren from Cedar Falls and this is a chance to get the national attention that they have been lacking all year. Add to all of that the fact that the Shockers can make it two teams from the MVC, and it is enough to even get their crazy mascot off his feet.
So there you have it...a battle at 2 pm on CBS (I am already a corporate shill) that could end up being the game of the day. I have picked against Wichita State all tournament long and have actually been to a game this year in Cedar Falls...so I will take UNI, 68-62 in a battle. Either way, expect Wichita State fans to make hand signals which will have college students everywhere laughing.