Doug McDermott

Arch Madness will be Arch Madness until at least 2015

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The Missouri Valley is the nation’s preeminent mid-major conference regardless of whether or not the league is having a good season or a down year.

The league is loaded with programs that have a long history of success, gobs of tradition and hoards of fans that would make some of the smaller programs in the major conferences really, really jealous.

That’s why attending Arch Madness is one of the things currently on my College Hoops bucket list. Since 1991, the MVC has held their conference tournament at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, MO, home of the famous Gateway Arch. (Which is why the tournament was dubbed Arch Madness. The MVC: home of great hoops and clever nicknaming skills!)

Only the Big East, who has used Madison Square Garden as the home of their conference tournament, has had a longer stay at one neutral site. Which is why the news that the MVC has agreed to keep Arch Madness in St. Louis through the 2015 season is notable.

“This was an important decision for our conference, and we are excited to be able to continue the remarkable run that our tournaments have enjoyed in this neutral city,” MVC commissioner Doug Elgin said. “We are indebted to Scottrade Center and to Family Arena and to many corporate supporters who have made it possible for us to grow our tournaments in a first-class fashion at a neutral site.”

Apparently, the Sprint Center in Kansas City and the Quest Center in Omaha have been making a push to host the event. They understand the power of the MVC fanbases.

But at the end of the day, Arch Madness will be Arch Madness for at least three more seasons. Which gives me at least three more years to notch this off my bucket list. That’s a good thing.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

Clemson lands 2017 guard

Brad Brownell
AP Photo
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Clemson landed a quality commitment on Tuesday as Class of 2017 guard A.J. Oliver committed to the Tigers. The son of Clemson women’s head coach Audra Smith, Oliver is regarded as a three-star prospect, according to Rivals, although some others view him as a top-100 caliber player.

The 6-foot-4 Oliver attends nearby Daniel High School and should have some time to get acclimated with the players and coaches before he sets foot on campus. A versatile guard who plays hard, Oliver showed that he can make plays with the ball in his hands this summer with the Upward Stars.

Oliver is Clemson’s first commitment in the Class of 2017 and it’s a strong start for head coach Brad Brownell.

Arizona’s Tarczewski out 4-to-6 weeks

Kaleb Tarczewski, Sean Miller
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Arizona will be without senior center Kaleb Tarczewski for 4-to-6 weeks, the school announced on Tuesday. The 7-foot Tarczewski suffered a stress reaction and strained muscle to his left foot and he’ll have some time to heal before the main portion of the Pac-12 conference schedule.

The experienced Tarczewski was averaging 8.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game before going down with injury. Without the senior in the lineup, Arizona fell to Providence in the Wooden Legacy last week. Without Tarczewski in the lineup, the Wildcats could turn to center Dusan Ristic while forward Ryan Anderson has had some solid outings this season.

Missing Tarczewski for the rest of non-conference play will hurt but he’ll get to rest and recover for the stretch run while the Wildcats can mix in some new frontcourt pieces.