We’ve more or less been operating under the assumption that 7-9 is a lock to make the OVC Tournament, but there’s a fairly realistic scenario that makes it not the case. One reader sent me the following:
- SIUE loses next 2, goes 7-9
- EIU wins last one goes 7-9 (which is at SIUE)
- SEMO beats UTM & AP and goes 7-9
- AP beats EKU & UTM and goes 7-9
I’m adding one to this scenario: what if Tennessee Tech loses out, to fall to 7-9. (It’s not out of the realm of possibility) We would have a five-way tie for fifth at 7-9, which means one team would be left out.
In the four-way tie sent in by the reader, it would be Austin Peay who would lose the first tiebreaker, (four-way head-to-head) and be left out.
In the five-way tie, including Tennessee Tech, it would be Austin Peay again, although it would go to the second tiebreaker with SIUE.
So what does this mean? 7-9 is still pretty much a lock, unless you’re a Governors fan. And even then, it takes a pretty specific scenario to keep you out.
While we’re on the topic of scenarios, there are a few that can resolve themselves on Saturday:
- BELMONT WILL BE GUARANTEED A DOUBLE-BYE WITH…
A Morehead State Loss at Murray State
- UT MARTIN WILL BE MATHEMATICALLY ELIMINATED FROM OVC TOURNAMENT CONTENTION WITH…
A loss against Southeast Missouri
- JACKSONVILLE STATE WILL BE MATHEMATICALLY ELIMINATED FROM OVC TOURNAMENT CONTENTION WITH…
A loss against Tennessee Tech AND a win by Southeast Missouri
- SIUE WILL BE GUARANTEED AN OVC TOURNAMENT BIRTH WITH..
An Austin Peay loss to Eastern Kentucky
- TENNESSEE TECH WILL BE GUARANTEED AN OVC TOURNAMENT BIRTH WITH…
A win over Jacksonville State
Mathematical OVC Tournament Locks
Belmont, Murray State, Morehead State, Eastern Kentucky
Murray State is locked into a double-bye as West Division champions
Belmont, Morehead State have assured themselves at least a single-bye
Mathematically eliminated from the OVC Tournament
I’ve always been a fairly big fan of players that play with a bit of swagger, even if they have a bit of an attitude. I enjoyed watching Mike Dinunno at Eastern Kentucky last year, and I enjoyed Mike Liabo at UT Martin. That is, until recently.
We do have a rule here that we don’t like to criticize players. Sure, we’ll talk about their shortcomings on the court, and what they can do better, but we don’t call them out for youthful mistakes.
But if there’s ever a reason to break that rule, it’s today.
How do you get a technical foul from the bench? The bench! You’re not even in the game!
For those that didn’t see it, Liabo was called for a technical with the Skyhawks down 11 last night to the Golden Eagles. The Skyhawks senior was apparently jawing at the referees, again, from the bench, when they had enough and T’d up the forward. The fact this happened to a senior, a supposed leader of the team, just makes it that much worse. Technical fouls are bad enough when you’re on the court, and say something you shouldn’t in the heat of the game. But from the bench? The bench? Seriously. I’m struggling to even understand how that even happens, and I don’t want to imagine what he must have said to deserve it.
Jason James’ team still has a slim chance of making the OVC Tournament, and Liabo has been one of their leading scorers this year. But I wouldn’t have any problem if the senior didn’t see another minute of playing time. (Except, perhaps, on senior night)
I don’t want this to lead to a slamming of Liabo in the comments, a player who, again, I’ve enjoyed watching on the court over his career. During the really down years in Martin, he often brought energy to a otherwise lifeless team. But you can’t do this. You can’t. Especially in a virtual must-win game. Ever, really, but especially not on a night like last night.