NORMAL - The Missouri Valley Conference has a lot to crow about these days.
The 10-team basketball league holds its highest ranking ever in its 99-year history at No. 4 in the Collegiate Basketball News RPI listing this week for games through Dec. 11.
Only the Big Ten, Big East and ACC rate ahead of the Valley. The previous Valley high was eighth in 1995 and 2005.
Undefeated Missouri State and Indiana State lead the way with No. 7 and 9 rankings, respectively. Northern Iowa is 14 with Creighton 57, Wichita State 74, Bradley 89, Southern Illinois 152, Evansville 156, Drake 170 and Illinois State 209.
The Valley has a 36-3 record at home against nonconference opponents.
On the tube
The Missouri Valley will televise the Illinois State at Indiana State game Dec. 22 from Terre Haute, Ind., on Fox Sports Network Midwest, Fox College Sports, Comcast SportsNet Chicago and Metro Sports.
The 6 p.m. contest will be shown live on FSN Midwest and Fox College Sports. It will be televised on tape-delay at 1 a.m. and 1 p.m. Dec. 23 on Comcast SportsNet Chicago and at 1 p.m. Dec. 23 on Metro Sports.
Also, this week the Valley's preseason basketball special, presented by State Farm Insurance, will air several times on FSN Midwest, Fox College Sports and Comcast SportsNet Chicago. The 30-minute show, hosted by Mitch Holthus, recaps last season and previews both the men's and women's upcoming seasons.
FSN Midwest will air the show Thursday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Fox College Sports will show it today at 4 p.m. and Thursday at 3 p.m.; Comcast SportsNet Chicago will air the show Saturday at 5:30 p.m. The show also will be aired prior to the ISU-Indiana State game on Fox College Sports.
Leo Wakefield, the 6-foot-8 transfer from Illinois-Chicago, quit the Illinois State team. Wakefield was sitting out this season per NCAA transfer rules.