Religiously following college basketball is akin to having a high-maintenance significant other. First of all, there's a ton of games to keep track of, and some are with teams like Eastern Southern Kentucky Tech and Dental College. And admit it: Many basketball games, unlike those of croquet, aren't all that exciting until the last five minutes, when the teams' scores are separated by a mere three-pointer. Still, some people live for the squeak of sneaks and each free throw. But whether you're one of these devoted followers or a fair-weather fan, the 2006 Missouri Valley Conference Men's Basketball Tournament (www.archmadness.com) is a must-see event especially since the winner gets a bid to the NCAA tourney. The ten MVC regional squads compete at the Savvis Center (South 14th Street and Clark Avenue; www.savviscenter.net) from Thursday through Sunday (March 2 through 5). Tip-off is at 6:05 p.m. today, and the championship game is at 1:05 p.m. on Sunday, with several games in between. Tickets are $12 to $82 and available by calling 314-241-1888 or visiting www.ticketmaster.com.
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