It’s hard to believe that the OVC tournament is next week and, like always, there’s confusion surrounding the bracket and how the teams are seeded.
So my job is simple, to answer all the questions that you might have. Here we go.
Where will the Skyhawk women be seeded?
Thankfully the women’s bracket is much easier to explain because there is no divisions and simpler tiebreaker rules. With the win Wednesday night over EIU, UTM has secured the top seed in the OVC Tournament.
What about the men?
Before we talk about the men, we should talk about the divisions and how that affects everything.
Why does it matter who wins the division?
Easy, back during the 2012-13 season, the OVC added a stipulation that the top team out of the east and west divisions would automatically receive the one and two-seeds in the tournament and a double-bye into the semifinals. The 3-8 seeds would be determined by best conference record, regardless of division. So why is this important? Because if UTM wins the division, they get the two seed and their chances of winning the OVC Tournament are much greater. If they don’t win the division, then they fall to either the fifth, sixth, or seventh seed, depending on how the rest of the conference shakes out. Another added note, a fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth seed has never won the OVC Tournament.
Now we get into the hard stuff, so now I’m going to try to explain it the best way possible.
- If the Skyhawks can beat TSU Thursday night and if Murray State loses to EIU, then UTM takes a one game lead into the season finale against Murray State on Saturday. If UTM wins the finale, then they win the division, if they lose, then it goes to a tiebreaker which belongs to UTM. Why? Because the way that the OVC determines tiebreakers, they go back to the two school’s records against the three-seed, then the four-seed, etc. Both teams split the regular season series against the three-seed EIU, so now it falls on the record of the two squads against the four-seed, Austin Peay. UTM swept the Governors during the regular season while the Racers split their series against APSU 1-1, hence why UTM would control the tiebreaker.
- If the Skyhawks beat TSU and Murray State beats EIU, then the two teams are tied atop the standings headed into the finale. If Murray State wins the finale over UTM, then they win the division, but if UTM wins the finale, the Skyhawks win the division.
- If UTM loses to TSU and Murray State beats EIU, then Murray State has a one game lead going into the final game against UTM. If Murray State wins the game, then they win the division, but if UTM wins the game, that forces a tiebreaker which would belong to Murray State because they swept EIU and UTM split the series against EIU.
- If UTM loses to TSU and Murray State loses to EIU then both teams would be tied atop the division standings heading into the final game, if UTM beats Murray State, then UTM wins the division, but if Murray State wins, the Racers win the division.
Confused yet? Then let’s try something simpler.
If UTM wins their next two games, they win the division. If Murray State wins their next two games, they win the division. If Murray State loses Thursday and UTM wins, then UTM wins the division. If Murray State wins Thursday and UTM loses, then Murray State wins the division. If both teams lose or win against their opponents on Thursday, then the division winner will be decided on Saturday when Murray State and UTM face off.
I hope this clears up whatever confusion there may be.