NCAA Tournament Cheat Sheets: Get to know Mississippi Valley State

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Read through the rest of the NCAA Tournament Cheat Sheets here.

Conference: SWAC

Coach: Sean Woods

Record: 21-12, 17-1 (1st)

Rankings and Ratings:

– Kenpom: 258
– RPI: 149
– AP/Coaches: Unranked

Seeding?: MVSU is probably destined for a 16 seed, unfortunately. Maybe a 15 if they get lucky.

Names to know: Paul Crosby (13.6 ppg, 7.4 rpg), Terrence Joyner (13.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg), Cor-J Cox (11.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg)

Stats to know: The Delta Devils are 29th nationally in pace and top 40 when it comes to turnovers percentage. They also rank 16th nationally in steal percentage.

Tendencies: MVSU’s head coach is Sean Woods, who played for Kentucky in the Rick Pitino era. As you might imagine, the Delta Devils like to play that same kind of pressuring style that Pitino thrived using in Lexington. They press, they trap, they force turnovers and they look to push the pace. They thrive off of chaos and take advantage of their athleticism.

Big wins, bad losses: MVSU’s only bad loss to to Arkansas-Pine Bluff, while their only “good” win is against Tennessee State, whose claim to fame is beating Murray State.

How’d they get here?: MVSU went 1-11 in non-conference play then rolled through the SWAC, winning the first 17 games of the season. They lost their final regular season game, but turned it around for the SWAC Tournament beating Texas Southern 71-69 in the title game.

Outlook: The problem with teams from smaller conference that thrive on their athleticism is that they aren’t as athletic as the best teams from the higher conferences. That’s the problem that MVSU is going to run into in the NCAA Tournament. Great story, great coach, but not long for the tournament.

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