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OVC Championship - Murray State vs. Morehead State: Preview and Players to Watch

Can Morehead State take down conference leader Murray State in search of back-to-back conference crowns?

NCAA Basketball: Belmont at Murray State
Murray State’s KJ Williams has led the Racers to an 18-0 record in conference play
Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Defeating No. 7 Tennessee Tech in the quarterfinals before upsetting No. 2 Belmont in the semifinals with a last-second block, No. 3 Morehead State has advanced to its second consecutive Ohio Valley Conference Championship with an opportunity to repeat as tournament champs.

Here, the Eagles will take on nationally ranked and No. 1 seed Murray State who, led by OVC Men’s Player of the Year KJ Williams averaging 18.5 PPG, is looking to extend an undefeated run of 18-0 during conference play.

While DraftKings currently has the line at Murray State -8 for this battle of the conference’s two best defenses, Morehead State has been the OVC’s best 3-point shooting team at 35%.

Morehead State will also feature the OVC Men’s Defensive Player of the Year and last season’s tournament MVP in Johni Broome who’s managing 4 blocks per game and 10.6 rebounds to go with his 16.4 points.

And in spite of the Eagles maintaining the conference’s best 3-point shooting percentage, it’s Murray State who bolsters the conference’s best 3-point shooter behind Tevin Brown shooting 39.4% from three on the season and scoring 26 points in the team’s semifinal win over Southeast Missouri State.

Another player that has been quietly good this conference tournament is Morehead State’s Skyelar Potter who contributed 14 points, six rebounds, and three assists in the quarterfinals before adding another 12 points, five rebounds, and two steals in the semis.

With Morehead State coming as close as any team in the OVC to upsetting Murray State after leading for nearly 30 minutes in a Feb. 12 matchup against the Racers, the OVC Championship is shaping up to be a tough battle of the conference’s best shooters and defenders.

Nationally ranked Murray State under OVC Coach of the Year Matt McMahon will have the edge going in tonight, but Morehead State has all the pieces for a competitive contest and could cause issues for the OVC’s best on the conference’s biggest stage.

How to watch

TV: ESPN2 8:30 p.m. ET

Streaming: ESPN App, WatchESPN.com

Live Stats: OVC Championship Stats

Arena: Ford Center, Evansville, Ind.

DraftKings Line: Murray State -8, O/U 129

(Odds/lines subject to change. Visit DraftKings for more information.)