Wichita State is the second seed in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, missing out on the top spot due to the RPI tiebreaker.
The Shockers (27-4, 17-1 MVC) will play at 6 p.m. Friday against the winner of Thursday’s game between seventh-seeded Bradley and 10th-seeded Drake.
WSU tied Illinois State for the regular-season title and the teams split two meetings. Illinois State’s RPI rank of No. 34 (according to Collegiate Basketball News) earned it the No. 1 seed over WSU’s at No. 40, the MVC’s second tiebreaker.
The Redbirds, MVC champions for the first time since 1998, play at noon Friday against the winner of No. 8 Evansville and No. 9 Indiana State.
WSU, which won a share of its fourth consecutive title, is out of the top seed for the first time since 2013. It advanced to the title game as the No. 2 seed before losing to top-seeed Creighton.
The Valley also used the RPI to decide two other spots.
Missouri State grabbed the No. 6 seed with a rank of No. 216, four spots ahead of Bradley. Indiana State is the No. 9 seed with an RPI rank of No. 222, better than Drake’s No. 305.
Northern Iowa swept Southern Illinois to claim the No. 3 seed.
▪ The co-championship is the first in the MVC since 2009 when Creighton and Northern Iowa tied with 14-4 records.
▪ There are six teams, since World War II, to win at least 17 MVC games. This is the first time two won 17 or more in the same season.
WSU accounts for four of those teams, going 18-0 in 2014 and 17-1 in 2017, 2015 and 1983.
▪ The eight-game gap in the loss column between the co-champions and the third-place teams at 9-9 is the largest atop the MVC in conference history.
Scottrade Center, St. Louis
6 p.m. — No. 8 Evansville (15-16) vs. No. 9 Indiana State (11-19) (Fox Sports Kansas City)
8:30 p.m. — No. 7 Bradley (12-19) vs. No. 10 Drake (7-23) (Fox Sports Kansas City)
Noon — No. 1 Illinois State vs. Evansville-Indiana State winner (Fox Sports Kansas City)
2:30 p.m. — No. 4 Southern Illinois vs. No. 5 Loyola (Fox Sports Kansas City)
6 p.m. — No. 2 Wichita State vs. Bradley-Drake winner (Fox Sports Kansas City)
8:30 p.m. — No. 3 Northern Iowa vs. No. 6 Missouri State (Fox Sports Kansas City)
2:30 p.m. — Illinois State/Evansville/Indiana State winner vs. SIU-Loyola winner (CBS Sports Network)
5 p.m. — WSU/Bradley/Drake winner vs. UNI-MSU winner
1 p.m. — Championship (CBS)