Blog Entry

What-to-know conference previews: Ohio Valley

Posted on: February 27, 2012 1:01 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 5:06 pm
 

Murray State has dominated the Ohio Valley discussion all season, rolling into February as the lone undefeated team in the country before dropping one to Tennessee State. How heavy of favorites are the Racers in the conference tournament?

Murray State is clearly the No. 1 team in the league heading into the tournament. The Racers lost just one game all season, to Tennessee State back on February 9. They bounced back to win their final five games, including three games and a home contest vs. Saint Mary’s. Guard Isaiah Canaan is one of the best players in the country, while Donte Poole and a healthy Ivan Aska are quality secondary options. The way to beat Murray State is to get offensive rebounds and force turnovers.

Tennessee State carried that Murray State win to a second-place finish, winning nine in a row before the season finale defeat at home to Murray State. Robert Covington is a dominant inside player, and the Tigers love getting easy opportunities from the free-throw line. They get a bye to the semifinals, along with Murray. 

Outside of Murray, Tennessee Tech might have the most talent in the conference. The Golden Eagles have two of the league’s best players in Kevin Murphy and Jud Dillard, who combined to average 38.6 points and 14.2 rebounds during the regular season. Throw in Zac Swansey and a couple of close losses to Murray, and they could be a sleeper. Don’t overlook Jacksonville State, either. The Gamecocks have won eight of 11 and play tough defense.

TOURNAMENT BRACKET

Title game:
Saturday, March 3 on ESPN2 (2 p.m., ET)

BEST PLAYERS

  1. Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
  2. Kevin Murphy, Tennessee Tech
  3. Robert Covington, Tennessee State
  4. Jud Dillard, Tennessee Tech
  5. Donte Poole, Murray State

Conference RPI: 21

KenPom.com rating: 24

Sagarin rating: 22

NCAA Tournament Locks: Murray State

NCAA Tournament Bubble Teams: None 

Last NCAA Tournament Appearances

  • Austin Peay Governors: 2008, No. 15 seed, lost to Texas 74-54 in the first round.
  • Eastern Kentucky Colonels: 2007, No. 16 seed, lost to North Carolina 86-65 in the first round.
  • Jacksonville State Gamecocks: N/A.
  • Morehead State Eagles: 2011, No. 13 seed, beat Louisville 62-61 in the first round, followed by a 65-48 loss to Richmond in the second round.
  • Murray State Racers: 2010, No. 13 seed, beat Vanderbilt 66-65 in the first round, followed by a 54-52 loss to Butler in the second round.
  • Southeast Missouri State Redhawks: 2000, No. 13 seed, lost to LSU 64-61 in the first round.
  • Tennessee State Tigers: 1994, No. 14 seed, lost to Kentucky 83-70 in the first round.
  • Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles: 1963, lost to Loyola-Chicago 111-42 in the first round.

- Jeff Borzello

Comments

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: February 29, 2012 8:08 pm
 

What-to-know conference previews: Ohio Valley

Singlemindedly hating a team you know nothing about, whose games you don't even watch and who you probably hadn't even heard of before this year, is an indicator that there's something seriously wrong with you. Nobody else on the boards has made it their mission to go to every single story about Murray State and say something negative. Only you.
I'll continue to berate every asinine, repetitive comment you take the time to make on a Murray State thread. You can not respond to me by refraining from making asinine comments.




Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: February 29, 2012 6:10 pm
 

What-to-know conference previews: Ohio Valley

Spidey, after this post, I am no longer going to respond to you.

I already made my points on this thread.

Just because I post some of the flaws my team has (on a thread that has a subject about Syracuse's flaws made by another Syracuse fan) go figure you should bash me for that, doesn't mean i hate my team. I am not a homer like most on this board and will be first to admit that my team has flaws. Don't fault me for something you can't do. 

I am a Murray State hater. You are Murray State homer. Not a good combination for a conversation between us. Leave it at that. See ya.

 



Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: February 29, 2012 1:01 pm
 

What-to-know conference previews: Ohio Valley

Fairmindedfan, you probably know this already, but don't put too much stock in anything MikeSyr says. He has an unhealthy obsession with Murray State that compels him to go to pretty much any story involving them and recite the same few lines. I recently took a look at his recent posts, and he doesn't even seem to like his own team that much. Seems to be one of those guys for whom it's that time of the month all month.



Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: February 29, 2012 9:16 am
 

What-to-know conference previews: Ohio Valley

WHY DOES IT MATTER??!!!

People have such an infatuation with rankings.  They don't mean squat.  Butler was ranked #11 in the AP prior to the 2010 NCAA tourney, they got a #5 seed, Purdue ranked #10, #4 seed.  In 2009 Syracuse was a #3 seed despite being ranked #16.

So again, why do you care where Murray is ranked?

Murray is a good team, a very good team.  They have beaten the teams they were scheduled against (1 exception).  I sincerely hope they get rewarded for it because they deserve it.  

Each year pompous traditional power fans find a mid-major that they feel is undeserving of praise.  The fact of the matter is mid-majors make the tourney great.  Look back at the sweet 16 over the last 5 or so years, you'll see mid-majors gracing the spots where the mighty BCS schools should be.  Why?  Because there are good programs outside the big conferences.



Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: February 29, 2012 7:28 am
 

What-to-know conference previews: Ohio Valley

What is a fanboy? Someone who likes a team enough to read about them?

You're a broken record, my friend. Only you keep sounding dumber and dumber with every of the hundreds of hater posts you've take the time out of your day to make on Murray State/OVC articles. Who needs to grow up?



Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: February 29, 2012 5:03 am
 

What-to-know conference previews: Ohio Valley

And your obsession with Murray State is?.....

Oh wait, you're a fanboy. GTFO. 



Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: February 28, 2012 8:38 pm
 

What-to-know conference previews: Ohio Valley

I know, I'm a Syracuse fan right? I should know what it's like to have my team win a ton of close games. I wouldn't say Syracuse is clearly above everybody else just because we're 16-1 in the conference. We've struggled against many Big East foes this year. I know we're better than every team (despite our loss to Notre Dame), but saying clearly, might be taking it a step too far considering how we've almost lost a bunch of games this year.
You make less sense with every post. You know Cuse is better than every team in the BE (which is having a major down year), but you wouldn't say they're "clearly" better? As usual your logic is muddled.

Every prediction you've made in the last few weeks has been wrong. As one poster said to you recently, "Don't stand next to me at the craps table." But please, keep downing Murray. I think you're the team's good luck charm.




Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: February 28, 2012 6:41 pm
 

What-to-know conference previews: Ohio Valley

Saying Clearly is kind of 'iffy. I mean, they barely beat quite a few of these teams. 

I know, I'm a Syracuse fan right? I should know what it's like to have my team win a ton of close games. I wouldn't say Syracuse is clearly above everybody else just because we're 16-1 in the conference. We've struggled against many Big East foes this year. I know we're better than every team (despite our loss to Notre Dame), but saying clearly, might be taking it a step too far considering how we've almost lost a bunch of games this year. 

Same thing goes for Murray State. I'm not sure if they're clearly better than everybody else in the conference despite their one conference loss and overall one loss total on the season. They've barely beat a bunch of their (albeit, much weaker) conference foes this year. 



 



Since: Jan 10, 2011
Posted on: February 28, 2012 6:12 pm
 

What-to-know conference previews: Ohio Valley

O.k., while I agree with a lot of your comments. You quoted "Clearly the Number One Team in the League" like you didn't agree with the statement, but then did nothing to dispute it. While it's true they shouldn't be in the top 10, while they haven't beat top notch opponents, while they haven't played a tough schedule, and they even lost to Tennessee State, they are still clearly the best team in the league. The fact that they are 25-1 shows that they took care of business pretty much every night, which is what a good team does. They also won the regular season title, which by definition makes them the best in the league. If not them, then who is best?



Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: February 28, 2012 6:01 pm
 

What-to-know conference previews: Ohio Valley

Clearly the #1 team in the league huh?

I don't care if people call me a Murray State hater/non-believer. The fact is, outside of the wins this year (which are unimpressive to say the least), they don't have a single win against a team that could possibly go deep in the NCAA Tournament this year.

Their best wins are:

  • Unranked Southern Miss in double overtime. (In the beginning of the year)
  • Unranked Memphis (by four points) and in the beginning of the year as well
  • St. Mary's  (wasn't playing at full strength)

On top of that unimpressive note, their loss to Tennesee State makes them look even more unimpressive in a lot of people's eyes. Oh, and lets add on the fact that Murray State has struggled against many bad schools this year and on top of that, their 183 SOS ranking?  Which for some reason keeps getting better despite the fact that they're playing against bad teams almost every single game. 

Sorry Murray State, but looking at your resume it's hard for me and a lot of fans of other programs to believe in you guys despite your 25-1 record. To even put them in the top 10 right now is a joke.  


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