Welcome to the OVC

Welcome to the OVC

Check out the map below to see the members of the Ohio Valley Conference, which Belmont joined this summer.

View Welcome to the OVC in a full screen map

When the Belmont Bruins officially joined the Ohio Valley Conference on July 1, they joined one of the oldest conferences in the country as it expanded to its largest membership ever.

The Brentwood-based conference now has 12 members, which is twice as large the entire charter membership in 1948.

Now, the conference has expanded into five states, including Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Missouri and Illinois. It has 17 sports, notably baseball, softball, men’s and women’s basketball and football.

Nationally, the OVC is a longtime men’s basketball mid-major conference responsible for some of the biggest upsets in NCAA tournament history. In each of the last three years, the conference has had a team advance to the Round of 32 in March Madness. That’s something only four other non-major conferences have done.

Murray State is the reigning men’s basketball champion and is expected to lead the OVC again this year. Last year, the Racers had one of the greatest single seasons in conference history, winning their first 23 games and earning their highest NCAA tournament seed ever.

In women’s hoops. Tennessee Tech has history on its side with 17 regular season titles. The Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks, however, have won the conference’s last two NCAA tournament bids.

Since the announcement of the conference change last year, school officials have repeatedly cited location as a major benefit for Belmont. Four other OVC schools are in Tennessee, and all but one of those in other states are closer than those in the Bruins’ old home, the Atlantic Sun Conference.

In most sports, including men’s and women’s basketball, Belmont’s addition means the conference will split into East and West divisions.

Belmont will compete in the East Division and will face Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State and Morehead State twice during the season. They will play West division teams like Austin Peay, Eastern Illinois, Murray State, SIU-Edwardsville, Southeast Missouri and Tennessee-Martin only once.

Baseball, women’s soccer and men’s and women’s tennis each won’t have a divisional format since each sport has fewer than 12 teams.


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