Murray State basketball (30-2) has won twenty straight games and the Racers have been rewarded with a seven seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament. But still many doubt the Ohio Valley Conference regular-season and tournament champions.
March Madness is their opportunity to prove that they belong.
During Steve Prohm’s final Murray State season (2014-15), the Racers were 16-0 in the OVC and weren’t invited to the Big Dance. This is head coach Matt McMahon’s third NCAA Tournament team in the last five years. They may or may not have qualified for the canceled 2020 national tournament when they tied for the OVC title.
The Ja Morant-led Racers split two games during the 2019 Big Dance, so this year is about proving the ‘Murray Brand’ is real.
This year’s team has conference ‘Player of the Year’, K.J. Williams, the OVC’s all-time career leader in three-point baskets, Tevin Brown, and all-conference guard Justice Hill leading the way.
Some will question the strength of the OVC competition but the Racers defeated NCAA Tournament teams Memphis (on the road) and Chattanooga (at home). MSU also defeated ASUN champion Bellarmine and 20-win teams Long Beach State, Middle Tennessee, Belmont, and Morehead State.
So, what are Murray’s three keys to victory over first-round opponent San Francisco?