For the first time since 1982, two ranked Missouri Valley Conference teams will meet on Saturday when No. 12 Wichita State plays at No. 18 Northern Iowa.
The Shockers (18-2, 8-0 MVC) moved up two spots in Monday’s Associated Press poll. UNI (18-2, 7-1) also moved up two spots. At 3 p.m. Saturday, they play in the McLeod Center, the first matchup of ranked teams since No. 18 Tulsa defeated No. 16 Wichita State 99-88 on Jan. 16, 1982.
Over the years, several MVC teams moved into the AP rankings, rarely two at the same time. In 2012 and 2013, WSU and Creighton shared time in the top 25 for seven weeks, but did not play each other.
Before 1982, the previous ranked matchup saw No. 4 Louisville defeat No. 11 Memphis State 83-72 on March 11, 1972 in an MVC playoff game in Nashville, Tenn. Nine days earlier, No. 20 Memphis defeated No. 2 Louisville 80-65.
WSU plays Loyola on Wednesday at Koch Arena. Northern Iowa plays at Southern Illinois on Wednesday.
Kansas (16-3) moved up two spots to No. 9 after defeating then-No. 17 Texas 75-62 on Saturday. The Jayhawks play at TCU on Wednesday.
Ramblers won’t play Doyle — Loyola guard Milton Doyle will miss his third straight game with a sprained left ankle, coach Porter Moser said Monday.
Doyle, a sophomore, averages 11.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and a team-leading 4.2 assists. He injured the ankle against Abilene Christian on Dec. 17 and again in a win over Texas Tech on Dec. 22. He aggravated it again in the second half of a loss to Wichita State on Jan. 11. He played two games before sitting out losses to Evansville and Indiana State.
“He’s definitely not playing Wednesday,” Moser said on Monday. “We’ve got to find ways for other guys to step up. When a guy leads you in almost every category, it’s difficult.”
Loyola (13-7, 3-5 MVC) has lost three straight games and four of its past five.