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This is heaven. Simply. Heaven.

When it comes to creating schedules, Belmont has it mastered. A true cross-town rivalry. Great road games. Hosting an in-state, top-100 RPI opponent. Mid-major darlings VCU and Butler. Only one non-DI opponent. This is a true basketball fan’s dream.

  Last Season RPITravel Distance (mi)
14@ Wright State166333
17@ Lipscomb2032
19Trevecca Nazarene--3
22@ Western Kentucky12968
29@ Ohio85423
2Middle Tennessee6463
11Wright State166333
16@ VCU19613
20@ Fairfield288951
28@ Butler154296
1Southeast Missouri
7SIU Edwardsville
10@ Eastern Illinois
15@ Murray State
17@ Austin Peay
22UT Martin
24@ Tennessee State
29Jacksonville State
31Tennessee Tech
5@ Eastern Kentucky
7@ Morehead State
11@ Jacksonville State
14Morehead State
19Eastern Kentucky
21@ Tennessee Tech
26Tennessee State

Key Numbers:

  • Average Non-Conference RPI: 152.6

  • Average Home Non-Conference RPI: 157.6

  • Average Non-Conference Road Travel Distance: 383.7 miles

  • Non-Division I opponents: 1



I’ve already waxed poetic about this slate – but here’s something else I noted: not a single 300+ RPI team from a year before. If it weren’t for Fairfield, there wouldn’t have been a 210+ team. Something else worth noting, and one of the true negatives for the team that won in Chapel Hill last year: there’s not a chance to be ‘Giant Killers’ again. Sure, winning at VCU would be impressive. But it’s not the same when it’s mid-major on mid-major, even if that mid-major is better than many of the majors. And if we’re being completely honest, Butler isn’t Butler anymore.

But that’s nitpicking. This is as good of a slate I’ve seen since I’ve been covering the OVC. Not the best, but in the top 3.


Road Trip to make

Pick one? Seriously. Making the two-mile journey to Lipscomb is a must. Bowling Green isn’t far away, and Western Kentucky is a solid opponent. Ohio is the return game of the 2012 bracketbusters, and proved to be entertaining in Nashville.

But it has to be the trip to Richmond, VA. If you’ve got the cash, and have never been to VCU — GO! Now.


Don’t waste your money…

I’m about to completely contradict myself here, and I’m okay with it. Yesterday, The Byrd Cage brought up this point on twitter: do Belmont students care about Lipscomb any more. I wholly feel they should. But if you had to miss a home game, (Trevecca Nazarene not withstanding) I’m struggling to come up with a compelling reason why this would be a terrible one to miss.


Comparing The Schools

(Will be updated as more schedules are added)

SchoolNon-Con RPINon-Con Home RPIRoad Travel Dist.Non-DI Opp
Belmont152.6157.6383.7 mi.1
Eastern Illinois166.3283.7280.7 mi2
Morehead State170.1235.0605.3 mi.2
Tennessee State170.5246.3324.4 mi2
Murray State172.5144.5170.6 mi.2
Southeast Missouri176.7221.2571.8 mi.2
Austin Peay184.3227.7404.9 mi.2
SIUE197.5177.5856.8 mi.2
Jacksonville State200.0227.0401.7 mi.2
Tennessee Tech208.9240.8561.3 mi.2
Eastern Kentucky215.5252.5512.0 mi.2
UT Martin238.3348.0479.2 mi.2

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OVC Ball
Final Word (11/13): Jacksonville State stands alone…in basketball too.

2017-18 Basketball Standings

OVC Overall
Jacksonville State 0-0 2-0
Tennessee Tech 0-0 1-1
Murray State 0-0 1-1
Southeast Missouri* 0-0 1-1
Belmont 0-0 1-1
Eastern Kentucky 0-0 1-1
Tennessee State 0-0 1-1
Eastern Illinois 0-0 0-1
SIUE 0-0 0-1
Austin Peay 0-0 0-2
Morehead State 0-0 0-2
UT Martin 0-0 0-2

*Ineligible for postseason (APR)