Believe it or not, the Big South, Horizon and Ohio Valley conference tournaments tip Tuesday night, kicking off a 12-day mad scramble for NCAA tournament berths. Up next in our conference tournament previews is the Ohio Valley Conference, which Murray State owned until last week when second place Morehead State handed the Racers their first loss.
Ohio Valley Conference Tournament
Date: March 2, 5, 6
Site: Quarters at higher seeds, semis, finals in Nashville
No. 1 Murray State vs. No. 8 Tennessee State
No. 4 Eastern Illinois vs. No. 5 Eastern Kentucky
No. 3 Austin Peay vs. No. 6 Tennessee Tech
No. 2 Morehead State vs. No. 7 Jacksonville State
Favorite: Murray State (27-4, 17-1)
Contenders: Morehead State (21-9, 15-3), Austin Peay (17-14, 11-7)
Did you know: Murray State didn't have a single player average more than 10.7 points per game, but the Racers had six who averaged at least 9.5.
Outlook: The prevailing question heading into this tournament is whether Murray State's 70-65 loss at Morehead State last week was the wakeup call the Racers needed or a sign of cracks in their foundation. Murray State had won 17 games in a row before that loss and had defeated Morehead by 30 in their previous meeting. The best news for Murray State is that Morehead and surging Austin Peay wound up in the same half of the bracket. Whichever team wins that semifinal will likely face the Racers for the title with an NCAA berth on the line.