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2022 OVC Tournament: Schedule, Bracket, Recent History, TV/Streaming Info

The OVC’s top two teams are both headed for the Missouri Valley after this season. Might they provide the conference another two-bid year on their way out the door?

The 2022 OVC Tournament field in logos.
Graphic by Chris Dobbertean using logos from SportsLogos.net (teams) and Wikipedia.(conference).

Visit Conference Tournament Central and the 2022 Conference Tournaments Hub for full Championship Fortnight coverage.

2022 Ohio Valley Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament Basics

Dates

Wednesday, March 2 (first round); Thursday, March 3 (quarterfinals); Friday, March 4 (semifinals); Saturday, March 5 (championship)

Format

Stepladder bracket—the top two seeds each only need to win a semifinal and final to qualify for the NCAAs

Site

For the fifth consecutive year, the Ford Center in Evansville, Ind., home of the Missouri Valley’s Evansville Purple Aces, will host the Ohio Valley’s postseason event.

TV/Streaming Info

ESPN2 has the final on Saturday evening with ESPNU carrying both of Friday night’s semifinals. ESPN+ has the first round and quarterfinal doubleheaders.

Participants

The OVC currently has 10 teams, though only seven will remain in the conference for the 2022-23 academic year, as both Belmont and Murray State are OVC-bound and Austin Peay will join the ASUN. Current Sun Belt member Little Rock and a pair of DII call-ups, Southern Indiana and Lindenwood (Missouri) will attempt to fill their shoes in future seasons.

Of the 10, just the top eight in the standings will travel to Evansville. UT Martin (8-22, 4-14, 9th) and Eastern Illinois (5-26, 3-15, 10th) were the two squads left out.

Downloadable Bracket

Schedule

First Round (Wed., March 2)

Game 1: (8) SIU Edwardsville (11-21, 5-13) 62, (5) Tennessee State 77
Game 2: (7) Tennessee Tech 78, (6) Austin Peay (12-17, 8-10) 51

Quarterfinals (Thurs., March 3)

Game 3: (5) Tennessee State (14-18, 8-10) 55, (4) Southeast Missouri State 79
Game 4: (7) Tennessee Tech (10-21, 7-10) 56, (3) Morehead State 73

Semifinals (Fri., March 4)

Game 5: (4) Southeast Missouri State (14-18, 8-9) 74, (1) Murray State 88
Game 6: (3) Morehead State 53, (2) Belmont (25-7, 15-3) 51

Championship (Sat., March 5)

Game 7: (3) Morehead State (23-11, 13-5) 67, (1) MURRAY STATE (30-2, 18-0) 71

Mayhem Potential

Data originally posted by Bob Vetrone Jr. on Twitter in 2020 with my own additions for 2021 and 2022.

The OVC implemented a stepladder format in 2011, but between 2014 and 2017, the advantage given the No. 1 or 2 seeds didn’t mean much, as they were shut out after those seeds combined to win the first three titles. The top seeds got themselves right with Murray State’s victory in 2018, and top two teams have alternated wins since.

  • 1 seed (4): 2012, 2013, 2018, 2020
  • 2 seed (3): 2011, 2019, 2021
  • 3 seed (2): 2014, 2015
  • 4 seed (1): 2017
  • 8 seed (1): 2016

NCAA Seeding Record Since 2011

Years with an NCAA win are in bold.

  • 6 seed (1): 2012
  • 11 seed (2): 2013, 2019 (at-large)
  • 12 seed (2): 2018, 2019 (automatic)
  • 13 seed (1); 2011
  • 14 seed (1): 2021
  • 15 seed (3): 2014, 2015, 2017
  • 16 seed (1): 2016

Could the OVC earn two bids for the second time in three NCAA Tournaments? For a time, it looked like both Belmont and Murray State could earn at-large bids, like the Bruins did in 2019 (when the Racers won the auto bid). Now, with the Racers completing a perfect conference season and ranking in the NET Top 30, they look like a shoo-in no matter what happens on Friday and Saturday.

Murray State could earn as high as a 7 seed, though I suspect they end up between an 8 and 10.

Last NCAA Tournament Appearances

Morehead State: 2021 (14 seed, 1st Round)
Murray State: 2019 (12 seed, 2nd Round)
Belmont: 2019 (11 seed, 1st Round)—2020 OVC Tournament Champion
Austin Peay: 2016 (16 seed, 1st Round)
Southeast Missouri State: 2000 (13 seed, 1st Round)
Tennessee State: 1994 (14 seed, 1st Round)
Tennessee Tech: 1963 (1st Round)

Neither SIU Edwardsville nor UT Martin have ever qualified for the NCAA Tournament. Of course, the Skyhawks and Eastern Illinois (2001, 15 seed, 1st Round) are already eliminated for this season. To put into perspective how much realignment has and will cost the OVC, 2016 NCAA rep Austin Peay, 2017 qualifier Jacksonville State, and 2014 OVC Tournament winner Eastern Kentucky will all be in the ASUN next year, while Belmont and Murray State switch to the Missouri Valley.