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The Murray State Racers are ranked as the 23rd best team in the nation, according to today’s Sporting News college basketball preseason Top 25.

The Racers join Creighton, (14th) San Diego State, (19th) UNLV, (20th) Gonzaga, (21st) and VCU (25th) as non-power conference teams in the Top 25.

Here’s what’s Ken Bradley of the Sporting News said about the Racers:

OK, let’s get this out of the way: The Racers will not win 31 games this season or start the year 23-0. That’s too unrealistic for a team that lost several key cogs, including 33.2 points per game from departed seniors Donte Poole, Ivan Aska and Jewuan Long. But All-American point guard Isaiah Canaan has the leadership qualities and talent to carry a team and will keep the Racers in the hunt for another NCAA appearance. He’ll need senior center Ed Daniel or transfer Dexter Fields to develop into a reliable No. 2.

The Racers enjoyed a magical season in 2011, including an improbable comeback to win the Great Alaska Shootout, part of their 23 straight wins to open the season / Photo Courtesy: Patrick McCormick

Mike DeCourcy though said the Racers were the most questionable inclusion into the Top 25.

The Racers finished last season 31-2, and it was a positively magical season. That’s over, though, and both Ivan Aska and Donte Poole are gone. Murray will have a terrific year, but this terrific?

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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


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


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