Ohio Valley Conference (conference rank: 22nd)
All games at Nashville.
kPOY: Evan Bradds, Belmont
Regular season champ: Belmont (preseason #112 / 1st OVC, current #85)
Overachiever: Jacksonville State (preseason #293, current #187)
Underachiever: Murray State (preseason #142, current #196)
Whatever you want. Whatever it is. Whatever you want. Think Belmont.
You want three-pointers? Belmont has devoted 52% of its field goal attempts to three-pointers this season, a high under Rick Byrd.1 You want two-pointers? Belmont made 62.3% of its attempts inside the arc, leading the country for the second-consecutive season. You want offensive efficiency? Belmont led the OVC in that. You want defensive efficiency? Belmont was tops in the the OVC, as well.
Somehow the Bruins lost a conference game, but just one. Tennessee Tech got Belmont on February 11 when Belmont went 7-of-36 from three-point range. That’s its only loss since the above commercial was filmed, a remarkable run.
The OVC only invites the top eight teams and adopts the double stepladder bracket, requiring the bottom four seeds to win four games while the top two seeds need to win just two. However, winning four games in four nights is surprisingly possible for Murray State and Tennessee State.
TSU is the second-highest rated OVC team but is the eight-seed in this event due to playing in the tougher East Division and some hijinks with tiebreakers. You may remember the Tigers from an 11-point win at Middle Tennessee or taking N.C. State to overtime2 or leading Duke with 15 minutes to play.
For the purposes of these percentages, Belmont and Tennessee State were give partial home-court shares.
Qtrs Semis Final Champ 1 Belmont 100 100 71.9 55.2 2 Tennessee Martin 100 100 49.7 14.4 3 Morehead St. 100 54.2 28.0 8.6 4 Jacksonville St. 100 49.1 13.5 7.2 8 Tennessee St. 64.7 36.2 11.7 7.0 7 Murray St. 64.7 33.0 17.4 5.4 5 Southeast Missouri St. 35.3 14.8 2.9 1.3 6 Tennessee Tech 35.3 12.8 4.9 1.0
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|1.||^||since at least 2002|
|2.||^||sure, this one is losing some luster.|