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This week, the Ohio Valley conference unveiled their ESPN slate of games, and the three schools most heavily featured should come as no surprise: Belmont, Murray State and Morehead State each have a pair of games. SIUE and Tennessee State each get one.

But then there’s the first ESPN network game of the season. On January 5th, one week before a single OVC men’s game reaches ESPNU, there will be an OVC game — a women’s game between UT Martin and Belmont at the Curb Events center. It’s the second year in a row, actually, that the Skyhawks and Bruins women will face off on national TV, and I love it. It is an early tip, (4:00 p.m. CT) but it’s actually two hours later than the same game last season.

The OVC has been trying to promote the women’s game for year, and I love that they’re able to get another game on the ESPN networks. I would prefer a little variety (although I’m sure ESPN has some say in the matchup) but it’s a great step forward for the conference as a whole.

Here’s the complete ESPN networks basketball schedule for the OVC, including a cool double-header on February 16th:

Thursday, January 5 – WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
UT Martin at Belmont, 4:00 p.m. CT (ESPNU)

Thursday, January 12
Belmont at Morehead State, 7:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. CT (ESPNU)

Thursday, February 2
Belmont at Murray State, 8:00 p.m. CT (ESPNU)

Thursday, February 16
SIUE at Murray State, 6:00 p.m. CT (ESPNU)
Morehead State at Tennessee State, 8:00 p.m. CT (ESPNU)

Friday, March 3
OVC Men’s Tournament Semifinal #1, 6:30 p.m. CT (ESPNU)
OVC Men’s Tournament Semifinal #2, 9:00 p.m. CT (ESPNU)

Saturday, March 4
OVC Men’s Tournament Championship, 7:00 p.m. CT (ESPN2)


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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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