Last Updated Mar 02, 2022, 11:20 AM

Murray State Strong OVC Tournament Favorite

Murray State is the odds-on favorite to win the OVC Tournament after putting together one of the most impressive regular seasons in program history. The Racers went 28-2 and 18-0 in conference, and that should lead to them making the NCAA Tournament no matter what happens over the next few days at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana.

The gauntlet-style bracket will be a huge benefit to No. 1 seed Murray State and No. 2 seed Belmont. Both the Racers and Bruins have double byes into the semifinals. Morehead State and Southeast Missouri State have byes into the quarterfinals, while the other four teams will have to win four games in four days to win the OVC Tournament.

2022 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Odds 

  • Murray State -190
  • Belmont +250
  • Morehead State +800
  • Southeast Missouri State +2000
  • Tennessee State +5500
  • Tennessee Tech +8000
  • Austin Peay +15000
  • SIU Edwardsville +45000

Odds Provided by DraftKings - Subject to Change

Murray State is ranked 22nd in the AP Poll and 25th according to Ken Pomeroy’s metrics. The Racers only two losses have come against East Tennessee State and Auburn, and they blew out Belmont by a combined 55 points in their two regular season games.

K.J. Williams leads Murray State with 18.2 PPG and 8.5 RPG, and Tevin Brown is averaging 16.4 PPG while making 39.3% of his threes. Murray State doesn’t do anything particularly well though, so this team has the potential to be knocked off in one of its two MVC Tournament games.

Belmont has made it to four straight OVC Championship Games, and the Bruins have met the Racers in three of those tilts. This team was easily the second-best team in the conference this year, and Belmont led the nation in two-point percentage. Ben Sheppard and Nick Muszynski are a great inside-outside tandem, but Sheppard was the only good three-point shooter on the Bruins this season. That and their poor performances against Murray State make Belmont a stay away at this price.

There is reason to like Southeast Missouri State at 20-1 to win the OVC Tournament. The Redhawks finished the season with a losing record, but they earned a bye into the quarterfinals and nearly knocked off Murray State in the season finale. SEMO led Murray State by seven points with just over three minutes to play when Justice Hill took over for the Racers with nine straight points to beat the Redhawks 70-68. Defense has been a problem for this team all season, but the Redhawks do a good job getting to the foul line and can put up points.

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