NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Two of the three teams from the Ohio Valley Conference who have never appeared in the NCAA Tournament will square off on Saturday night in the conference championship.
The winner will advance to their first-ever NCAA Tournament, and will get to experience the joys of hearing their name called on Selection Sunday as a part of the field of 68.
Inside the Nashville Municipal Auditorium on Saturday night at 8:00pm EST, the Jacksonville State Gamecocks will take on the regular season West Division leaders, the UT-Martin Skyhawks. It’s a slightly unexpected final pairing, as the Gamecocks eliminated the top-seeded Belmont Bruins in the semifinals.
Both teams have been playing some of their basketball at the right time. But, outside of the hardcore basketball fan, many won’t know much about the two teams taking part in the finale.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tahj Eaddy may only be a freshman, but he showed on Wednesday night that he is poised beyond his years.
In the Music City, the Ohio Valley Conference tournament opened up with a match-up featuring the Tennessee State Tigers and the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks.
Despite both teams boasting a high-profile senior guard, in Tahjere McCall for the Tigers and Antonius Cleveland for the Redhawks, two freshmen stole the show in the end. The veterans played a big role in the outcome, but ultimately it came to one big shot from a first-year player to give his team the win.
Every year, teams see their dreams of making the NCAA Tournament come true, while others accept bids into other post-season tournaments.
Last season, 68 teams made the NCAA Tournament, 32 made the NIT, 16 made the College Basketball Invitational, 32 made the CollegeInsider.Com Tournament, and 8 teams took part in the inaugural Vegas 16 tournament. If the math is correct, that leaves 195 teams without a spot in post-season play.
Some teams aren’t even eligible for post-season play due to off-court issues, whether it’s due to low APR scorers or self-imposed bans.
That’s where we come in. We don’t discriminate, and even teams who aren’t eligible in the real world are welcome in our eyes. Living up to the Canadian stereotype of always being nice, we have included all 351 teams into one hypothetical post-season tournament.
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — Coming into Thursday night, conference play hasn’t been too kind to the SIU-Edwardsville Cougars.
The Cougars came into their game with the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks riding an 11-game losing streak overall. They had lost 17 of their last 18 games, with their only win during that span coming against the Missouri S&T Miners back on December 28th.
In their previous meeting this season, the Redhawks edged the Cougars by three, 79-76.
This time around, the Cougars were hoping for a different result, while the Redhawks were looking to move into a tie for first place in the West Division of the Ohio Valley Conference.
At 6-5 in conference play, Southeast Missouri State came into Thursday night just a half-game behind the division-leading UT-Martin Skyhawks. Thanks to big performances from two of their stars, the Redhawks were able to keep pace atop the division.
CHARLESTON, Ill. — The struggle for Eastern Illinois continues.
Despite career performances from Demetrius McReynolds and Muusa Dama, the Panthers fell to Austin Peay, 92-84. The Governors shot 54.2% from the field to complete their second consecutive win.
“It’s getting pretty frustrating,” said McReynolds. “At the beginning of the game, they were making everything. [In] the second half, we tried to pick up our defensive intensity but just couldn’t get no stops.”
CHARLESTON, Ill. — On February 25, 2016, the Eastern Illinois Panthers welcomed Murray State into Lantz Arena for a nationally televised showdown. 2,000+ fans packed inside the cozy home of the Panthers and were treated to an 85-74 victory, which was by far the most impressive win of the season.
In the Racers’ first trip back, two newcomers, Terrell Miller Jr. and Jonathan Stark, avoided a repeat result, jockeying Murray State to an 83-72 vengeful win.
“When you rely on jumpers, it will come and go,” said Eastern Illinois head coach Jay Spoonhour. “We don’t really have guys that make plays off the bounce real well.