Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Preview
It’s always fun to see how all these leagues do their tournament, the Ohio Valley is definitely in that group. The OVC gives the top two teams byes to the semifinal round and the next two teams get byes to the quarterfinal. The defending champs also have the most exciting player in the conference, Ja Morant. However, this league is incredibly competitive with Belmont who is fighting for an at-large bid, Jacksonville State, and Austin Peay all ready to try and dethrone the defending champs.
2018 Champion: Murray State
1-seed Belmont Bruins 25-4 (14-2)
The Bruins are a top-25 team in offensive efficiency and have an absolute stud named Dylan Windler. As a team they shoot over 50% on the season. Defense is the key, they’re aren’t spectacular on that end of the floor and if they step it up this team will dance.
2-seed Murray State Racers 25-4 (14-2)
Ja Morant. He is the reason they can win this league and make a run in the NCAA Tournament. If he cuts down his turnovers the Racers are in good shape.
3-seed Jacksonville State Gamecocks 23-8 (15-3)
Defense is this team’s calling card. They’re the best in the league on that end of the floor. They need to continue that especially on the stars of the top teams. Get Jason Burnell going on the inside to open things up for Marlon Hunter and this team will be tough to beat.
4-seed Austin Peay Governors 21-10 (13-5)
Another really good offensive team, the Govs average over 80 points per game. Terry Taylor is a very good, young guard who is aggressive on the glass. He scores it really well. The Governors need to limit turnovers and shoot the 3 well.
5-seed Morehead State Eagles 12-19 (8-10)
I really don’t think any of these teams has a chance but for the sake of the exercise I’ll write it out. Morehead State’s best chance is to attack the glass and limit their turnovers.
6-seed Eastern Illinois Panthers 14-17 (7-11)
The Panthers need to play defense. They’re spectacular on offense, but their biggest flaw is the defensive end of the floor. Josiah Wallace also needs to take over for this team.
7-seed UT-Martin Skyhawks 11-18 (6-12)
Another great nickname, the Skyhawks play a very short rotation and score the ball pretty well. Their defense is awful, though. Up their defensive play and keep scoring it like they do.
8-seed SIU-Edwardsville Cougars 10-20 (6-12)
The final team in the field, SIUE is one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the country at just 30%. In order to win this tournament they will need to shoot the 3 significantly better, limit their turnovers, and ideally, hold opponents under 80 points a game.
Morehead State over SIU-Edwardsville
UT-Martin over Eastern Illinois
Austin Peay over Morehead State
Jacksonville State over UT-Martin
Belmont over Austin Peay
Murray State over Jacksonville State
Belmont over Murray State