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The OVC has wrapped up their spring meetings in Nashville, with arguably the biggest basketball news out of the conference being the announcement of OVC tournament seeding model being used now that the conference has expanded to 12 teams.

…and for better or worse, it’s essentially more of the same.

Despite being a 12-team conference, the tournament will remain 8-teams only, and keep the double-bye format established just a few years ago, meaning the tournament will remain stretched over 8-games.

For seeding, the top team in each division will be locked into the 1 and 2 seeds, with the better overall conference record earning the top overall seed. Meaning to earn that double-bye, a team must win their division.

Seeds 3-8 will be determined by overall conference record, with no regard to division.

What does this mean in the long run?

The divisions are more for scheduling purposes only.

Personally, I would have like to have seen the OVC tournament expand to a 12-team model, and probably return to home sites for the early rounds. But as I’ve discussed at length, the extended length of the OVC tournament generated by the double-bye model is solely for enhancing the revenue of the tournament, so I can’t say I’m shocked that the conference AD’s decided to stick with a similar format.

I like that, for the most part, that divisions don’t matter. The old-SEC model of having seeds based on divisions didn’t work, which is why they decided last year to scrap it. But you’re still rewarded for winning the division, which is a nice addition.

Now keeping up with the “standings” might become somewhat confusing if the divisions become unbalanced…

The OVC is a “basketball” league, for now

In the past, I’ve made the complaint that the OVC needs to recognize whether they are a “basketball” or a “football” league, and stop trying to be both.

And it seems like to a point they’ve made that decision: this is a basketball league.

Why do I say that? The league has announced a “basketball enhancement plan” that means more money for basketball programs in the OVC.

The idea, according to a league, is as follows:

“The league will distribute revenue earned (up to $500,000) through victories in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship back to schools for use to enhance the sport of men’s basketball. OVC schools can earn the money based on (1) overall team RPI, (2) increase in number of Division I wins from the previous year (a 3-year rolling average), (3) Division I non-conference wins (3-year rolling average), (4) OVC Tournament or regular season championship in the past four years, (5) improvement in RPI (3-year rolling average) and (6) 40% of non-conference games being played at home or neutral sites. The initial funds are based on this year’s distribution and will be made available to schools at the end of this fiscal year (June 30)”

Essentially, the idea is to financially reward teams that go out and play (and beat) quality competition.I love the idea, and it seems to be well implemented.

Will this get rid of teams scheduling 2 to 3 Non D-I teams every year?

Probably not. But it might reduce that number by one.

Will this force teams (*cough* Eastern Kentucky *cough*) to schedule home non-conference games?

Probably not.

But it’s an incentive for the teams in the league to  make some changes that are for the betterment of the league, which the teams didn’t have before. It still leaves the decisions to the individual schools, allowing them to choose what’s best for them, but also gives them a push to create quality non-conference schedules that rewards fans, and helps the OVC rise in stature.

I do have some questions about money distribution, as up to $500,000 spilt up to 12-ways doesn’t leave a lot of dough for each school. And it’s possible that money is much less, especially if the OVC doesn’t win a game in the NCAA Tournament.

But the idea here is simple: If the OVC keeps winning in basketball, some of that money goes back to basketball, to help the OVC keep winning. And instead of spreading all the money evenly, the teams that help the conference the most, get the most money.

But if the OVC stops winning? Well, then things can change…as they probably should.

Other news out of the Spring Meetings

A couple of other notes from the spring meeting:

  • A “fan code of conduct” has been established. Nothing really shocking, just don’t be stupid, essentially.
  • Commissioner Beth DeBauche will remain at the head of the conference through at least 2016.

Fill press release on OVCSports.com


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OVC Ball
Compiling all OVC non-conference games

2016 Football Standings

OVC Overall
Jacksonville State 7-0 10-2
UT Martin 6-2 7-5
Tennessee Tech 5-3 5-6
Tennessee State 4-3 7-4
Eastern Illinois 4-4 6-5
Murray State 4-4 4-7
SEMO 3-5 3-8
Eastern Kentucky 2-6 3-8
Austin Peay 0-8 0-11


2016-17 Basketball Standings

OVC Overall

EAST

Belmont 15-1 23-7
Morehead State 10-6 14-16
Jacksonville State 9-7 20-15
Tennessee State 8-8 17-13
Tennessee Tech 8-8 12-20
Eastern Kentucky 5-11 12-19

WEST

UT Martin 10-6 22-13
SEMO 9-7 15-18
Murray State 8-8 16-17
Austin Peay 7-9 11-19
Eastern Illinois 6-10 14-15
SIUE 1-15 6-24


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