First Word: OVC Tournament Quarterfinals
Catlin Bogard | On 07, Mar 2013
Through the first day, seeds have held in Nashville, with Southeast Missouri and Morehead State earning fairly tough victories on the tournament’s opening day. Today enters two serious title contenders from the East, but neither may be all that excited about today’s Matchup.
 Morehead State 15-17 (8-8) vs Tennessee State 17-13 (11-5)
Morehead State won Season Series 2-0
It’s good news / bad news of sorts for the Eagles and Tigers today. While Morehead State swept the season series, they struggled last night to get past a shorthanded UT Martin squad in a very physical, up-and-down game.
Advantage…Tigers? The team that allowed 101 points in regulation against these Eagles just a week ago? They did score 100 themselves, and lost.
Morehead State’s two wins over Tennessee State this season couldn’t really have been any more different from one another with one exception: rebounding. The Eagles won the battle of the boards against the Tigers in both matchups, which is impressive given these two teams are 1st and 2nd in the league.
The Eagles might be a bit more immune from playing games on back-to-back games for a few reasons: One they player deeper into their bench than anyone anyway; second, they should be well conditioned given their style of play in the first place. It also doesn’t hurt they’re not really a jump-shooting team.
Tennessee State must hold onto the ball. Turnovers have been a concern all season for the Tigers, and no team can exploit that weakness like the Eagles.
The winner gets top-seeded Belmont on Friday.
 Southeast Missouri 17-15 (8-8) vs  Eastern Kentucky 23-8 (12-4)
EKU won season series 1-0
Depending on how you look at it, there are two reasons why EKU probably wanted no part of SEMO, and should be psyched to play the Redhawks. First, SEMO is playing their best basketball of the season, and had an off-night from 3-point range last night if you consider 8-20 “off”.
Second, there is some history between these two. Namely, the Redhawks have knocked the Colonels out of the OVC Tournament each of the past two seasons.
So, as I said before: The Colonels probably aren’t thrilled to be playing the red-hot Redhawks. But they should come motivated given their history.
There is every reason to believe we’re in for a shootout tonight. EKU has been solid defensively on the perimeter this year, but somewhat weak inside. This is a good time to mention Tyler Stone 11-12 from the field against the Panthers last night. And while SEMO controlled the game last night, their defense really didn’t, especially in the second half, and Dickey Nutt even commented on it during the team’s post game news conference.
The potential game-changer here is two-fold; EKU must challenge on the glass against the stellar SEMO frontcourt. And the Redhawks must avoid turnovers against the Colonels stellar backcourt.
Winner moves on to face second seed Murray State on Friday.