The OVC has finally made official something we’ve actually known unofficially for a few weeks now: the Divisions for the 2012-13 season. They are:
Southeast Missouri State
While it’s great that this information has been released, we’re still missing the most important part of the equation: How will the teams be seeded for the OVC tournament. As many conferences, the SEC included, go away from using “divisional” seeds (East 1, West 3, etc) and move towards composite seeds despite of having divisions for scheduling purposes, I’ll be curious which way the OVC goes.
Assuming the conference keeps the current 8-seed tournament format, meaning 4 teams will miss the OVC tournament, I think it’s more likely composite seeding is used. That’s because if the divisions are unbalanced talent wise, which is likely in any divisional format, seeding by division could keep out the 5th seed in a stronger division that has a better record (and is a better team) than the 4th seed in the weaker division.
While you could make the argument that the 5th seed in any division can’t complain about not making the OVC tournament (which is a valid argument) I would think the OVC would choose the format to allow the best teams in the tournament. Of course, there are issues with bye’s to be discussed as well, although the balance issues would simply cause identical problems.
There is another option, although it would be most odd: The conference could choose the top 4-teams in each division to qualify for the tournament, and reseed them based on composite record. I don’t think any conference currently does this, but most conferences big enough to have divisions also allow all conference teams to enter the conference tournament.
What do you think about the divisions? And how should the tournament teams be determined and seeded?