Ohio Valley Conference Championship basketball pick by Andrew Ryan of Bangthebook.com
What They’re Playing For: The good news for both of these teams is that neither one’s season should end tonight. The NIT will almost certainly take the loser of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament between the Morehead State Eagles and the Murray State Racers. Should the Racers lose by a small margin, they may be hanging on to a fringe shot of an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, but they shouldn’t count on that happening.
How They Got Here: Murray State defeated Tennessee State 84-51 & Eastern Illinois 55-51. Morehead State defeated Jacksonville State 87-54 & Tennessee Tech 76-47.
Who to Watch: F Kenneth Faried is coming off of a rare game in which he didn’t log a double-double. The man in the paint for Morehead State is averaging 17.0 points and 13.2 rebounds per game this year, and he’ll be looking for his 23rd double-double of the season and his third against Murray State on Saturday night. F Tony Easley is the third leading scorer (10.5 points per game), the best rebounder (5.7 boards per game), and best shot blocker (92 total in 33 games) that the Racers have to offer. He’s also going to be the man responsible for stopping Faried in the post.
Previous Meetings: December 5th – Murray State 86 – Morehead State 56, February 25th – Morehead State 70 – Murray State 65
What to Expect: Morehead State might’ve been the wakeup call that the Racers needed. Murray State should come out and roll the Eagles in emphatic fashion with a well-balanced effort from its top six scorers, all of which can go for 15+ points on any given night. Look for the best team in the OVC all season long to be the dominant force at the end of the day.
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