OVC Tournament preview

March 4, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

Evansville, Indiana: 

 

Much like the rest of the college basketball season, the OVC has seen it's fair of hectic and confusing situations. 

 

For a large part of the season, it's been a three-team race between Murray State, Austin Peay, and Belmont, but as of the last two weeks, Eastern Illinois has started to close the gap. This weekend in Evansville has the possibility of becoming one of the greatest basketball weekends in OVC history. 

 

All the action will get underway on Wednesday night with the first round of the OVC Tournament. 

 

The action on Wednesday night will get underway with the 5th seeded Tennessee State Tigers taking on the 8th seeded Morehead State Eagles.

 

Wednesday's matchup will be the second matchup between the two teams. These two teams split the two matchups this season on their respected home courts. The first-round matchup will be the deciding game between these two programs this season. 

 

Shortly after game one ends, the 6th seeded Eastern Illinois Panthers will take on the 7th seeded Jacksonville State Gamecocks in a highly anticipated matchup. The Panthers and Gamecocks only met once this season with the Panthers escaping with a one-point home win over Jacksonville State. 

 

Both Wednesday night games will be streamed on ESPN Plus for the fans unable to attend. 

 

Thursday is when the action starts to heat up for the Quarterfinal action. 

 

The game will see the game one winner from Wednesday going up against 4th seeded Eastern Kentucky Colonels. The winner of that game will advance to the semifinal round on Friday to take on Belmont. 

 

In the second and final game of the night, you will see the 3rd seeded Austin Peay Governors taking on the game two winners.

 

The winner of that game will head straight to the semifinals to take on the Racers of Murray State. 

 

The action on Thursday night will begin at 6:30 p.m. central and will be televised on ESPN Plus. 

 

Now on to the two favorites to win the OVC Tournament, both Belmont and Murray State earned a double-bye in the 2020 OVC Tournament with their first games not coming until the semifinal round on Friday night. 

 

Starting things off with the top-seeded Belmont Bruins, the Bruins come into the game 24-7 overall and co-regular season conference champions. 

 

Despite losing Dylan Windler to the NBA, this is a Belmont team that can flat out play the game of basketball. The Bruins are led in scoring by Adam Kunkel, who comes into the tournament averaging 16.6 points per game and an impressive 82% from the free-throw line. 

 

Belmont will begin their postseason play on Friday night as they await the winner of game three. That game is slated for 7:00 p.m. central on ESPNU. 

 

And lastly, the two seed Murray State will begin their postseason run on Friday night around 9:00 p.m. central on ESPNU. 

 

The Racers come into the OVC Tournament looking to win their third straight conference tournament. Murray State finished the regular season 22-8 overall, 15-3 in OVC play, and co-champions with Belmont. The last time Murray State was able to win three straight conference tournaments was from 1997 through 1999. 

 

Sure, Murray State might have lost Ja Morant to the NBA, but the Racers have not looked back since. 

 

Tevin Brown leads the way in scoring for this Murray State team with 17.7 points per game. 

 

Murray State and the winner of game four will tip-off at 9:00 p.m. central on Friday night and will be televised on ESPNU. 

 

The OVC has had a long history of producing one of the most exciting college basketball tournaments throughout all of college basketball, and this week will be no different. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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