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Morehead State might be the most interesting case in the tournament. They have two wins over Tennessee State, gave Belmont a scare at home. They want to play at a breakneck pace, but they’re far from the most disciplined team, and give a lot of their opponents a night of free-throw practice during the games. Are they tourney fodder, or an upset bid in waiting?

Morehead State 14-17 (8-8)

Good Wins

12/8 vs Indiana State (71-63)
1/26 vs Tennessee State (78-69)
2/28 at Tennessee State (101-100)

Headscratcher Losses

1/19 at UT Martin (88-74)

Against The Bracket

#8 UT Martin (1-0)
#4 Tennessee State (2-0)
#1 Belmont (0-2)

#6 SEMO (1-0)
#7 EIU (1-0)
#3 EKU (0-2)
#2 Murray State (0-1)

 

Strengths

  • Forcing Tempo: Most possessions per game. (70.3) Third most turnovers forced per game. (15.4)
  • Rebounding: Second in rebounds per game. (32.4) First in rebounding percentage. (58.1%)

Weaknesses

  • Fouling: Last in the nation for the entire season in fouls per game. (24.6)
  • Turnovers: Last in the OVC, seventh worst in the nation in turnovers per game. (17.9 in OVC games, 16.9 on the season)
  • Perimiter Defense: 10th in 3-point shooting percentage defense. (37.5%)

 

Players to Watch

  • Milton Chavis (11.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.3 spg)
  • Angelo Warner (10.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.6 spg)
  • Chad Posthumus (7.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg)

 

Outlook

I’m not sure any team could be more thrilled with the way the bracket worked out than Morehead State. The Eagles are 3-0 against their first round and potential quarterfinal opponents, and have played Belmont, their potential semifinal opponent, to within a single basket.

But the Eagles have only strung together three straight wins once this year, and that started with a non-Division I opponent.

This is another team where I wonder about four-games in four days. They play deeper into their bench than anyone, but that’s a result of their flying around the court. If this team gets to day three, do they have the energy left to upset Belmont? Heck, if this team gets to day 2, can they play with that same energy against a physical Tennessee State team.

Head coach Sean Woods has done a fair job implementing his new scheme with a set of players that were recruited for anything but up-tempo basketball. His team has a chance, and an opening. Can they seize advantage?


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OVC Ball
Predicting the OVC race…in mid-December

2016-17 Basketball Standings

OVCOverall

EAST

Belmont8-014-4
Morehead State6-310-12
Tennessee Tech5-39-14
Jacksonville State5-413-11
Tennessee State4-413-8
Eastern Kentucky2-69-14

WEST

UT Martin5-315-8
Murray State5-311-11
SEMO5-310-13
Austin Peay3-57-15
Eastern Illinois1-79-12
SIUE0-85-17
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