While the rest of the Ohio Valley Conference’s 2017 tournament bracket may have been solidified this Saturday, it has been clear for quite some time who the league favorite and number one seed is.
The Belmont Bruins made it through the season with only a single loss in conference play, wrapping up the one seed well over a week ago. The UT Martin Skyhawks, however, battled it out with Murray State and Southeast Missouri in the waning days of conference play in order to lock up the two seed that’s afforded to one of the division champions.
Morehead State and Jacksonville State both managed to finish 2nd and 3rd in the East Division, respectively, earning both of the teams a bye in this year’s tournament.
Southeast Missouri, who dropped their regular season finale against Austin Peay, finished one game back of UT Martin in the West, a finish which was only able to grant the Redhawks the five seed. They will face Tennessee State, who finished at 8-8, giving them the final spot in the tournament.
Tennessee Tech limps into the conference tournament after losing its last two games, setting it up in a matchup against a Murray State team that is currently riding a three-game losing streak.
In terms of its format, the OVC Tournament is fairly unique, as the three and four seeds receive a bye while the one and two seeds receive a double bye. Four unlucky teams (Austin Peay, Eastern Illinois, Eastern Kentucky, and SIU Edwardsville in 2017) are left out of the tournament entirely, with the bulk of this year’s rejections coming from the West Division.
Below is this year’s bracket, complete with TV/streaming channels and times: