Sunday, March 9, 2014

Eastern Kentucky wins the OVC!

I was afraid that Belmont's entry into the OVC would make it difficult, if not impossible, for the traditional OVC members to win the Conference.  And Belmont won the title last year, and had the best record in the regular season.  But Saturday night in Nashville's Municipal Auditorium, Eastern Kentucky pulled the upset -- winning the OVC Title and the automatic trip to the NCAA tournament with a 79-73 victory.  The difference was three-point shooting:  Belmont went 8-24 from behind the arc, while Eastern shot a blistering 11-22.  The nine extra points Eastern picked up from three-point range were the difference in the game.  The Colonels also jumped out to a quick 17-2 lead that Belmont could never overcome.

So congrats to the Colonels and coach Jeff Neubauer.  Since taking over from Travis Ford before the 2006 season, Neubauer has built a solid program that is almost always in contention.  But it's not easy to win the OVC, and this will be Eastern's first trip to the Big Dance since 2007.  That team had to open with North Carolina; we will hope this year's team gets a more favorable draw -- and that they make 50 percent of their three-pointers.

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