Congratulations are in order for the SIUE softball team, who won a rain-shortened Ohio Valley Conference Tournament title this weekend, shellacking Murray State 12-1 in the finals. The conference made the decision to make the usual double-elimination tournament single elimination after rain wrecked havoc with the weekend tournament, a decision that didn’t go over well with everyone.
— Patrick Wilkinson (@pwilks85) May 12, 2014
I you upset the1 seed in conference tourney you should get an bid to the WCWS especially since @OVCSports cheated y’all -Jim Hooper
— Kendall Hooper (@kendallhooper13) May 12, 2014
— Mike Crowell (@Pigroasted) May 12, 2014
That was just some of the negative comments made towards the league on Twitter. The last of the three tweets does show show what the conference was up against — the NCAA. The OVC only had until a preset time (my guess would be Sunday afternoon around five) to crown a champion, and they were worried that they wouldn’t have a champion in a full double-elimination tournament by that time. Why? There would have had to been at least four more games, possibly five, to determine a champion. If there was more rain in the forecast for Sunday, that could have created quite a conundrum for the conference, one I’m not entirely sure how it would have been resolved. The top overall seed, Jacksonville State, was already eliminated.
Was it the right decision? It wasn’t popular, that’s for certain. But a bigger question: why hold a tournament that can be easily affected by weather so close to the deadline? The OVC is far from alone in doing so, but it’s something that may be worth asking in the future.
There was no controversy on the baseball side, as Southeast Missouri wrapped up the OVC regular season championship this weekend. The Redhawks are six games up in the win column over two teams in a tie for second place, as they wrapped up their conference campaign. With a weekend to go, the battle for the last OVC tournament spots is much more interesting. Austin Peay is in sixth at 13-14, just a game back of a tie for fourth between Morehead State and SIUE. Behind them, Eastern Illinois, who is half a game back thanks in part to a tie with Belmont earlier in the season. Murray State is one game back.
Of the teams battling for sixth: The Racers head to Eastern Kentucky, who is still mathematically alive with a sweep of Murray. Austin Peay travels to SIUE. Eastern Illinois travels to bottom-dwellers UT Martin.
The full Academic Progress Rate (APR) numbers will be released on Wednesday, and this year the schools face a major adjustment: The APR requirement for postseason eligibility increases from 900 to 930.
The schools themselves are well aware of their APR standing; the numbers released this week are for the 2012-13 year. Some schools, like Houston Baptist, have already announced their postseason ban for the following season, although there are likely some that have not, due to an appeal with the NCAA in the works.
Last year, we looked at the men’s basketball APR scores and found that UT Martin, Eastern Illinois, and SEMO were at some risk of a ban, with the Skyhawks and Panthers in worst need of a high score. UT Martin and Eastern Kentucky had lower numbers on the football side, but neither weren’t at a major risk.
It’s worth noting that Tennessee State, Austin Peay, and Morehead State are ‘limited resource’ schools, and only need a 910 APR four-year average to remain postseason eligible.