The Morehead State Eagles lost out in a very good opportunity to move towards their 2014 NCAA Tournament dreams against the No. 22 UCLA Bruins. The Eagles lost to a fairly dominant Bruins’ squad and let UCLA guard Jordan Adams score 30 points. The loss will be disappointing to Morehead State, but they are far from out of the discussion for a 2014 NCAA Tournament berth.
At the beginning of the year, Morehead State looked like they were going to have to get a few wins from better non-conference opponents. Unfortunately, UCLA was the biggest name on their schedule. The only remaining team that is likely to go to the 2014 NCAA Tournament is the Tennessee Volunteers, and I doubt that the Eagles can stop the likes of Antonio Barton, Jarnell Stokes, Jeronne Maymon and Jordan McRae. Their rather weak non-conference schedule means that they will have to do well in conference play if they want to sneak into the NCAA Tournament.
The Eagles have extremely difficult competition in the Ohio Valley Conference. They face an already nationally impressive Belmont Bruins team, twice, as well as have a matchup against the Murray State Racers. Surprisingly, the OVC’s Eastern Kentucky is already 6-1 and proving to be a tough matchup to every team they play, as well.
Despite the hurtles that the Eagles have to jump in order to go to the tournament, the good news is that Morehead State has the talent to string a few wins together in the OVC Tournament and steal the automatic bid to the 2014 NCAA Tournament. The Eagles may not be a team that anyone expects to go to the tournament, but stranger things have happened in college basketball, especially in conferences not known for powerhouse college basketball teams.