ST. LOUIS, Mo. - With regular-season play now complete, the bracket for the 2017 Missouri Valley Conference Women's Basketball Tournament is set. Loyola enters the league tournament as the No. 10 seed and will clash with No. 7 seed Bradley on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. inside the iWireless Center in Moline, Ill.
Drake, which clinched its sixth Missouri Valley Conference women's basketball regular-season title in program history, has earned the No. 1 seed in next week's MVC Tournament. The Bulldogs finished the regular-season with a record of 25-4, including the conference's first ever perfect 18-0 mark in league play. Drake closed out the season on a 19-game winning streak.
UNI (15-3 MVC) and Missouri State (12-6 MVC) are the second and third seeds, respectively. The Panthers won 20 games for the second-straight year, while the Lady Bears enter the tournament as the defending tourney champions. Southern Illinois (10-8 MVC) and Wichita State (9-9 MVC) earned the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds, respectively. The Salukis have won four straight entering the tournament, while the Shockers earned a top five finish for the sixth time in seven years.
This year's tournament - the 10th neutral-site event in the conference's history - begins on Thursday, March 9, at iWireless Center in Moline, Illinois. The top seed has won the conference tournament in 17 of 31 seasons and a team that has won or shared the regular-season title has gone on to win the tournament title 20 times. Top seeds have five runner-up finishes. Teams seeded No. 2 have won the tournament four times and finished as the runner-up 11 times.
The tournament, which features nine games over four days, culminates on Sunday, March 12, with a the title game airing live on The Valley on ESPN3 at 2:00 p.m. (CT). Both semifinals on Saturday, all four quarterfinals on Friday and the two opening round games on Thursday will also be available live on The Valley on ESPN3.
Missouri State has won the most MVC Tournament titles, 10, of any Valley school, its last coming last year. Drake has claimed five tournament titles. Illinois State won the league's first tournament title in 1983.
The entire schedule for the 2017 Missouri Valley Conference Women's Basketball Tournament is listed below.
2017 Missouri Valley Conference Women's Basketball Tournament
Thur., March 9
Game 1 - (8) Indiana State vs. (9) Illinois State - 4 p.m.
Game 2 - (7) Bradley vs. (10) Loyola - 7 p.m.
Fri., March 10
Game 3 -- (1) Drake vs. Game 1 winner - Noon
Game 4 - (4) Southern Illinois vs. (5) Wichita State - 2:30 p.m.
Game 5 - (2) Northern Iowa vs. Game 2 winner - 6 p.m.
Game 6 - (3) Missouri State vs. (6) Evansville - 8:30 p.m.
Sat., March 11
Game 7 - Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner - 1:30 p.m.
Game 8 - Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner - 4 p.m.
Sun., March 12
Game 9 - Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner - 2 p.m.