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by Jessica Waytenick • December 13, 2017

MOLINE, Ill. – The Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau announced today the return of the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Women’s Basketball Tournament to the TaxSlayer Center, 1201 River Drive in downtown Moline, Illinois, for its third year on March 8-11, 2018.  The MVC Women’s Basketball Championship will celebrate its 25th Anniversary during the 2018 tournament. 

In its 111th season, the MVC is the nation’s second-oldest NCAA Division I conference and is recognized as one of the leading athletic leagues in the country.  This annual tournament features teams from each of the MVC member institutions.  The tournament determines which MVC school receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Women’s Division I Basketball Championship.

Ten universities compete in the MVC Women’s Basketball Tournament and include:  Bradley, Drake, Evansville, Illinois State, Indiana State, Loyola, Missouri State, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois, and Valparaiso.

Tickets for the 2018 tournament go on sale Saturday, December 16, at 10 a.m. and are available at the TaxSlayer Center box office, by phone 800-745-3000, or online at www.ticketmaster.com.  Tickets are priced at $60 for reserved seating all-sessions tickets; $16 and $10 reserved seat tickets per session, single session Premium seats for $25.  Reserved seating all-session tickets are only $40 if purchased before January 16.  To reserve discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more, contact Lindsey Lobur, TaxSlayer Center Group Sales Manager, at 309-277-1356 or llobur@taxslayercenter.com to receive $4.00 off each ticket purchased for your group.

The 2018 MVC Women’s Basketball Tournament includes a schedule that will provide plenty of opportunities to see these athletes in action.

               Thursday, March 8                                        Saturday, March 10

               Game 1: 4 p.m.                                               Game 7: 1:30 p.m.

               Game 2: 7 p.m.                                               Game 8: 4 p.m.

               Friday, March 9                                              Sunday, March 11

               Game 3: 12 p.m.                                            Championship: 2 p.m.

               Game 4: 2:30 p.m.

               Game 5: 6 p.m.

               Game 6: 8:30 p.m.

For tournament information, go to www.mvcquadcities.com.  For visitor information, go to www.visitquadcities.com.

2018 is the third year in a now four-year agreement between the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau and TaxSlayer Center to host the MVC Women’s Basketball Tournament.  The attendance for the 2016 tournament increased 21 percent over 2015 when the tournament was held in another state.  In 2017, tournament attendance jumped slightly again.  Since the Quad Cities has hosted MVC, attendance has been the event’s best total since 2011. 

“We are excited to return to the Quad Cities for the 2018 MVC Women's Basketball Tournament, and this year brings even more cause for celebration as the Conference celebrates 25 Years of Women's Sports in The Valley,” says Patty Viverito, Senior Associate Commissioner at the Missouri Valley Conference.  “In addition to great basketball games, the tournament will include many opportunities to celebrate the accomplishments of women in The Valley including recognition of our 25th Anniversary basketball team members.”

About the Missouri Valley Conference

The MVC is one of only eight conferences where the women’s basketball championship is played at a neutral site, separate from the men’s championship.  One of the premier women’s basketball leagues in the country, the MVC has received just over 80 postseason berths during the last 20 seasons, averaging four postseason teams per season. The Valley has earned multiple NCAA Tournament bids in 11 different seasons, including a pair of bids to last season’s NCAA Tournament (Drake and UNI).  The league has also had two Final Four teams (Missouri State, in both 1992 and 2001), a WNIT champion (Missouri State, 2005) and three WNIT semifinal appearances (Illinois State, in 2009, 2010 and 2011).

The history of MVC women’s basketball is filled with notable alumni, including the NCAA’s second all-time leading scorer (Jackie Stiles, Missouri State, 1998-2001) and the NCAA’s all-time leader in career rebounding average (Wanda Ford, Drake, 1983-86) – both members of the league’s Hall of Fame. In addition to Stiles and Ford, five other women’s basketball figures have been inducted into the MVC’s Hall of Fame, including Melody Howard (Missouri State), Cathy Boswell (Illinois State), Carole Baumgarten (Drake), Lorri Bauman (Drake) and Cheryl Burnett (Missouri State).

The MVC is the nation’s second-oldest Division I conference, and continues to be a leader in college athletics.  It is one of the nation’s most progressive conferences, and celebrates its 111th season in 2017-18.  The league consists of 10 diverse members across four states, which members include Bradley, Drake, Evansville, Illinois State, Indiana State, Loyola, Missouri State, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois and Valparaiso.  League members have worked together to focus on common goals and objectives, putting a high value on league harmony while continuing to invest in athletic programs to compete at the highest level.  The Valley brand remains very strong, both regionally and nationally, and the great athletic tradition of The Valley remains a compelling force in recruiting student-athletes and in marketing all the MVC programs.  For more information, visit www.mvc-sports.com.

Media Contacts: Joe Taylor – Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau, 309-737-2759 cell

  Patty Viverito – Missouri Valley Conference, 314-444-4313, pattyv@mvc.org

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