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Our favorites, sleepers, and dark horses in the 2020 Ohio Valley Conference basketball tournament

The OVC has three teams at the top of the league that have pulled ahead, and a double-bye tournament that will favor two of them

Austin Peay Governors guard Jordyn Adams shoots the ball over West Virginia Mountaineers guard Taz Sherman and Mountaineers forward Emmitt Matthews Jr. during the first half at WVU Coliseum.  Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA Tournament is a few weeks away, which means it’s conference tournament time to set the table for March Madness. We’ll be taking a look at some of the best teams in each conference, and providing picks and predictions each conference tournament. Plenty of favorites will win, but we’ve got some sleepers to consider that might be able to pull off a big upset on the way to the NCAA Tournament.

Here’s the bracket for the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament with TV listings, dates and times.

The OVC is just a one-bid league this season, but there’s still some excellent basketball being played, and a few league teams had red-line upsets this season. But the bottom of the league is very poor, with five teams in the bottom 35 of Division I. It makes the double-bye tournament that’s been implemented even more favoring the top of the field. If there’s a league where an upset will be hard to come by, it’s the Ohio Valley Conference.

Favorite: Belmont

Nashville’s other D1 team has a much better path to the NCAA Tournament than their SEC brethren across town. The Bruins love to shoot it, and have won eight in a row. They split the regular season with Austin Peay and Murray State, the two teams below them in the standings as of now. But they’re a lock for the double-bye, and having to win two games is a lot easier than having to win four.

Sleeper: Austin Peay

Not really a sleeper, but with a great chance to secure the double-bye as well. Are 13-3 in the league, with splits against Belmont and Murray State. They’re pretty efficient on offense, but struggle to get stops (281st in adjusted defense) and will likely need to outscore teams to advance. Junior Terry Taylor might be the best player in this league.

Dark Horse: Murray State

Likely having to play three games instead of two in the tournament, which technically makes them a dark horse. Yes, we’re stretching here, but the rest of this league is so bad and they should have no issues in the 3-6 seed matchup. Losses to Evansville and Eastern Illinois are concerning, but more so are the turnovers and blocked shots in the paint: those can bite you this time of year when the defensive intensity increases.