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Conference Tourney Wrap Up: 2/27

Get used to it, because it's going to be a constant here for about a week and-a-half.

Ohio Valley

There was almost a shocker on the first day of conference play as top-seeded Austin Peay needed overtime to stave off Tennessee State 89-84. The eighth seeded Tigers held a two-point advantage with 55 seconds remaining in regulation, but Fernandez Lockett responded on the other end with a jumper that would prove to be the last bucket before the five minute overtime.

In the extra period the Governors, who entered the tournament having dropped three of their final four regular season contests, went on an 8-2 run in the first three minutes, but needed Landon Shipley and Todd Babington to hit two pairs of free-throws in the final seconds to seal the deal.

Peay moves on to Friday's first semifinal in Nashville against fifth seeded Samford who scored a 70-60 victory over Murray State in a rematch of last year's championship game which the Racers won by 17.

Murray, the OVC's representative in the Big Dance in three of the last five seasons, will not make it to the semifinals for just the second time since 1987.

Friday night's other semifinal will feature second seed Eastern Kentucky, which walloped in-state foe Morehead State 63-45, against three seed Tennessee Tech which embarrassed Southeast Missouri State 88-60.

The championship game will be played on Saturday at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.

Big South

Big South behemoth Winthrop rolled to a 30-point win over eighth seeded Charleston Southern, and will take on fifth seeded UNC Asheville (77-64 over #4 Coastal Carolina) at home on Thursday.

VMI scored a fairly impressive upset by taking out third-seeded Liberty 79-78, but this is a two-horse race and the Keydets now get to tackle the second choice High Point, which breezed by Radford 90-73.

Both semifinals will be played at Winthrop on Thursday, with the final set for 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon at the same location.

Horizon League

In the most meaningless games of the day, all three higher seeds advanced to the quarterfinals of the Horizon League Conference Tournament on their home floors.

Fourth-seeded Wiconsin-Green Bay pounded #9 Cleveland State 78-59, and will play #5 Youngstown State which needed all 31 points from Keston Roberts to hold off Detroit 82-80.

The only other game of the day saw sixth seeded Illinois-Chicago eliminate a Burce Pearl-less Wisconsin-Milwaukee squad 83-77. The Flames now get thrid-seeded Loyola.

Both quarterfinals will be played Friday night at Wright State's Nutter Center (I laugh every time), with the winners getting either the top-seeded Raiders or #2 Butler in Saturday's semifinals.

Like I said, today's games were meaningless. It's Butler vs. Wright State on March 6 for supremacy over the meeting place of the sky and the earth.