ST. LOUIS – The warm up to the epitome of college basketball gets underway this week with "Arch Madness," which is also known as the Missouri Valley Conference men's basketball tournament.
Ten teams of the conference will vie for the sole automatic bid into the 2014 NCAA tournament, better known as March Madness.
Here's what you need to know about the conference, its teams and the tournament.
Arch Madness will be held March 6-9 at the Scottrade Center. Ten teams will play in the conference, including Bradley University, Drake University, Evansville University, Illinois State University, Indiana State University, Loyola University, Missouri State University, Northern Iowa University, Southern Illinois University and Wichita State University.
Thursday, March 6
No. 8 Drake vs. No. 9 Evansville at 6:05 p.m.
No. 7 Bradley vs. No. 10 Loyola at 8:35 p.m.
Friday, March 7
No. 1 Wichita State vs. Game 1 winner at 12:05 p.m.
No. 4 Missouri State vs. No. 5 Illinois State at 2:35 p.m.
No. 2 Indiana State vs. Game 2 winner at 6:05 p.m.
No. 3 Northern Iowa vs. No. 6 Southern Illinois at 8:35 p.m.
Saturday, March 8
Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner at 1:35 p.m.
Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner at 4:05 p.m.
Sunday, March 9
Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner at 1:05 p.m.
Highlight of the tournament
This tournament will be a hot ticket for one team in particular, Wichita State. The team has gone 31-0 in the regular season and is ranked No. 2 in the country. Wichita State is the first team to go into the postseason undefeated since 2004, according to ESPN.
If they do win the conference tournament, the team will head into the NCAA tournament as a high-ranking seed.
But a lot of teams closer to home will attempt to win the tournament, including Missouri State and Southern Illinois universities.
If you're not a student of one of the respective schools, then there's a number of ways to still obtain tickets. The Ford Box office at Scottrade Center is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. for tickets as well as by calling 800-745-3000. There are tickets also available through Ticketmaster online or their respective box offices.
For an even sweeter opportunity, a number of ticket discounts are available through Pepsi cans, Schnucks and other methods. For a full list of discount options, check the Arch Madness website.
There is a garage as well as metered parking near the arena for games. If you're looking to avoid parking and traffic, MetroLink has a Civic Center stop across the street from the arena.
All games of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament will be televised. All games will be televised via FOX Sports Midwest or FOX Sports Midwest Plus, with the exception of the championship game, which will be shown on CBS Sports.