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The weekend is over. The season is underway, and possibly more importantly, the cobwebs are shaken off. The OVC struggled — plain and simple, with Eastern Kentucky providing the only win against a Division I opponent.

Don’t get too cocky there, EKU. Savannah State is D-I in name only.

Five more chances tonight, and after yesterday, we can’t completely discount the odds of an upset against two lower division teams.

There’s a general feeling that these games don’t matter, but they really do. If you want to make the CIT or the CBI you need non-conference wins. And every OVC win helps build the general profile of the team that wins the conference, and makes it to the NIT. So no mistake, you should be rooting for the OVC in these early contests, because once January rolls around, the OVC’s seed is all but set.


 

Jacksonville State
0-2 (0-0 OVC)
#8 Louisville
2-0 (0-0 ACC)
Final

By The NumbersPreview

Make no mistake: Jacksonville State is a massive, massive underdog — a 33-point underdog, if Vegas is to be trusted. That’s a very large number. I need to see JSU’s offense do something. That’s going to be hard to do against Louisville — but that’s also kind of the point. I don’t care if JSU gives up 90 to the Cardinals, because they have national title talent on that roster. Can you put up 60? Can you shoot better than you did against Marshall? That’s what’s I’m looking for out of this.

Things get a little easier going forward as JSU travels to Cleveland State next.


 

Cincinnati Christian
NAIA
Morehead State
1-1 (0-0 OVC)
Final

By The Numbers

This will be a little easier than UNLV. No update on the status of Morehead’s two LSU transfers, who sat out against the Rebels — I can’t imagine Sean Woods is in a rush to get them back in the lineup tonight, and they probably won’t be needed.


 

Belmont
1-1 (0-0 OVC)
Lipscomb
1-1 (0-0 ASun)
Final

By The NumbersPreview

Okay Belmont — I was hard on you after your loss at Wright State. The way you lost was…surprising. But upon further review, if you told me the Bruins would lose by three on the road, I would’ve shrugged and went “okay,” because it’s just the season opener, and the Raiders are a Horizon league team, and the Horizon is pretty good at this basketball thing. You do it again today, I’ll start getting worried.


 

IPFW
2-0 (0-0 Summit)
SIUE
1-1 (0-0 OVC)
Final

By The NumbersPreview

Defend your home court. That’s what good teams do, and I think you have the talent to be a good team. It’s hard to get a great read on IPFW — yes, they were a 25-win team a year ago, but their prospects aren’t that high this year, after losing close to half of their production. I’m guessing they’ll be hovering near the .500 mark, at least, come March, which makes this a representative sample of what SIUE will face in the months to come.


 

Eureka College
NCAA Division III
Eastern Illinois
1-1 (0-0 OVC)
Final

By The Numbers

These kind of games, early in the season, have not gone particularly well under Jay Spoonhour. Two years ago, they lost to Rochester College early in the season. Last year, they edged Olivet Nazarene. C’mon guys — I really, really don’t want to spend half of the year reminding everyone how you needed 40 minutes to beat Eureka College. I already have Austin Peay for that this year. (Sorry, Govs)


 

UT Martin
1-1 (0-0 OVC)
Arkansas State
0-1 (0-0 Sun Belt)
Final

By The NumbersPreview

This is a very winnable game, but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Arkansas State comes out with a lot of passion, given how their final exhibition goes. Myles Taylor needs to stay in the game — he was by far the Skyhawks best player in his 15 minutes. That being said, the Red Wolves have size, and it could fall onto the backcourt to provide offense for UT Martin


 

Tennessee Tech
1-1 (0-0 OVC)
USC
1-1 (0-0 Pac 12)
Final

By The NumbersPreview

Speaking of teams looking to make amends for their previous performance…USC is coming off one mid-major loss at home and they’ll be motivated to make sure it’s not two. I’m not really counting TTU’s season opener, so this is our first look at the Golden Eagles against a competitive team. It’s a long trip — but USC has shown they’ve vulnerable. Can Tennessee Tech take 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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