Skyhawks men picked to finish fifth, women third in OVC media poll

An OVC media poll has the UT Martin men’s basketball team to finish fifth and the women’s basketball team to finish third in the OVC standings this season.

The OVC media poll is in its sixth year as the 15-person media panel predicts the league’s outcome.

The OVC will release its official predicted order of finish – voted on by the conference’s head coaches and sports information directors – as part of its annual Media Day festivities in Evansville, Indiana on Tuesday.

In the men’s poll, Belmont was first with 11 out of 15 first-place votes and 176 overall points. Murray State came in second with three first-place votes and 165 points while Austin Peay earned one first-place vote and was chosen third with 138 points. Jacksonville State (126) and UT Martin (125) were separated by just one point for fourth and fifth place, respectively.

Eastern Illinois and Morehead State each received 90 points and are tied for sixth place. Tennessee State came in eighth place with 74 points while Eastern Kentucky (ninth, 63), Tennessee Tech (10th, 53), SIUE (11th, 37) and Southeast Missouri (12th, 33) rounded out the poll.

UTM begins its 69th season of men’s basketball on Tuesday, November 5 when it plays host to St. Louis College of Pharmacy at the Elam Center. Tipoff time is set for 7:00.

For the women’s poll, the media panel picked Belmont as the preseason favorites, picking up 11 of the 15 first-place votes and 175 points total.

Tennessee Tech was picked second with two first-place votes and 156 points while UT Martin was selected third with one first-place vote and 155 points.

Morehead State notched the other first-place vote and finished with 122 points overall. The poll was rounded out by Austin Peay (119), Jacksonville State (92), Southeast Missouri (87), SIUE (82), Murray State (78), Eastern Illinois (50), Tennessee State (32) and Eastern Kentucky (22).

UT Martin’s women’s team officially opens the season on Wednesday, November 6 with a matchup against Saint Louis. The Skyhawks will make their Elam Center debut on Thursday, November 21.