EASTERN ILLINOIS at SIU EDWARDSVILLE, 6:00 PM Eastern, Fox Sports Midwest, live streaming at ovcsports.com
Eleven conferences will end their regular seasons today and announce their conference tournament brackets. While today’s games may affect the seeding in those 11 brackets, only one of the 11 will see a team eliminated from postseason contention. The Ohio Valley Conference is a 12 team conference that only takes the top eight teams into its conference tournament with a shot at the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Tennessee State, Jacksonville State and Tennessee-Martin have already been eliminated from the field and will be ending their seasons today. The final team into the field (and the final elimination from the field) will be decided by a pair of games today.
Eastern Illinois enters play today with a one game lead over Austin Peay for the eighth and final OVC tournament spot. However, Austin Peay holds the tiebreaker edge between the two teams. The Govs play a 5:00 PM Eastern game at Tennessee-Martin today. Assuming they win that game (which they should), today’s SCGD between Eastern Illinois and SIUE will decide which team plays on and which team’s season ends. Eastern Illinois is currently 6-9 in conference and 10-18 overall. They have certainly not made any serious noise all season, without a single RPI top 250 win. However, a win at SIU Edwardsville today, whom they beat at home 76-70 a month ago, will keep the Panthers’ season alive for at least one more game.
SIU Edwardsville is currently 7-8 in the OVC and 11-18 overall. The Cougars did pick up home wins this season over two of the top teams in the OVC, Eastern Kentucky and Murray State. But the big news for SIUE is that they have already clinched a spot in the OVC tournament. This marks the first time in program history that the Cougs will be playing in a Division I conference tournament (admittedly they have only been eligible for postseason play for a couple years now). SIUE just barely missed out on qualifying for the OVC tournament last year. Today’s game will effect the team’s seeding, but regardless of its result, they will play on. A victory, however, could knock Eastern Illinois out of the tournament field.
By the way, don’t forget to check out the rest of today’s action here: