Tech men win OVC title

Tennessee Tech (men) win OVC regular season titleStartFragment

Tennessee Tech captured the 2004-05 OVC regular-season men's basketball title outright with a 74-67 win over host Morehead State on Saturday. Now, the top-seeded Golden Eagles set their sights on the 2005 O'Reilly OVC Basketball Tournament crown when first-round action gets underway Tuesday.

One of the tightest Conference races in recent memory -- six teams entered the final week of regular-season action with a chance at sharing the crown -- came down to the last day. Tech had already clinched a share of the title and the tournament's top seed, but needed a road victory at Morehead State to take sole possession of the championship trophy.

Now the Golden Eagles (17-10), who finished OVC play with a 12-4 mark, return home to plot their course for the postseason as they get set to entertain No. 8 Eastern Illinois (12-15), who ended the season with a 7-9 league record after dropping a 72-66 decision to Murray State on Saturday.

Eastern Kentucky, a 70-66 winner over Austin Peay on Saturday, and Murray State, who rolled to a 72-52 triumph over Tennessee-Martin, finished tied for second at 11-5.

The Colonels (19-8) won the head-to-head tiebreaker for the No. 2 seed and will play host to No. 7 Tennessee State (14-16), who edged Jacksonville State, 63-62, in the regular-season finale but lost a three-way tiebreaker at 9-7 with Austin Peay (11-18) and Southeast Missouri (14-13).

As the No. 3 seed, Murray State (17-10) welcomes No. 6 Southeast Missouri, who rolled to a 72-62 win over Tennessee-Martin on Saturday and finished in the middle of the three-way tiebreaker with APSU and TSU.

Making its first appearance in the OVC tourney as a first-round host is No. 4 Samford (15-12). The Bulldogs had Saturday off after wrapping up their regular season on Thursday with a 10-6 mark, and will entertain APSU, who finished tied for fifth at 9-7 with TSU and Southeast, but won the three-way tiebreaker to earn the No. 5 seed.

First-round action of the 2005 O'Reilly Ohio Valley Conference Tournament gets underway Tuesday, March 1, with the winners advancing to the semifinals on Friday, March 4 at the Gaylord Entertainment Center in downtown Nashville. Both of the men's semifinal contests and the men's championship game will be televised on the ESPN network. Friday's first semifinal contest will be carried on ESPN's FullCourt package, while the second semifinal contest will be the inaugural game on ESPNU, a new 24-hour station devoted solely to collegiate programming. Saturday's championship game will be aired on ESPN2.

2005 O'Reilly Ohio Valley Conference
Men's Basketball Tournament - March 1, 4-5

Tuesday, March 1 - First Round - Campus Sites
#7 Tennessee State at #2 Eastern Kentucky - 6:30 p.m.
#6 Southeast Missouri at #3 Murray State - 7:00 p.m.
#8 Eastern Illinois at #1 Tennessee Tech - 7:30 p.m.
#5 Austin Peay at #4 Samford - 7:30 p.m.

Friday, March 4 - Semifinals - Gaylord Entertainment Center - Nashville, TN
EIU/TTU Winner vs. SAM/APSU Winner - 5:30 p.m. (ESPN FullCourt)
EKU/TSU Winner vs. MUR/SEMO Winner - 8:00 p.m. (ESPNU)

Saturday, March 5 - Championship - Gaylord Entertainment Center - Nashville, TN
Championship - 3:00 p.m. (ESPN2)

*All Times Central