The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team is heading back to the Ohio Valley Conference tournament for the first time since 2015.
The Colonels will face No. 5 Tennessee State in the quarterfinals of the OVC Tournament tonight. Tip-off is set for 7:30 ET.
EKU is a No. 4 seed in the tournament and got a first round bye.
Coming into the game, the Colonels are led by OVC Coach of the Year, A.W. Hamilton, second team All-OVC selection Tre King and first team All-OVC selection Jomaru Brown.
“All season the team was putting a lot of trust in me,” Brown said. “It’s a blessing to be noticed at that level.”
“It’s a huge honor,” King said about the award. “I can’t thank anyone but my teammates and my coaches for putting the trust in me.”
EKU has looked strong since the start of conference play, winning 12 of 18 after going 3-10 in non-conference play.
“I saw the potential in this group early on and we just didn’t hit our stride,” Hamilton said. “These guys taught me a lot about facing adversity and I’m really proud of how they did it.”
EKU's 12 OVC wins are tied for the second most in program history. This season's team is one of only four EKU teams ever to win 12 or more OVC games, joining the 1964-65 (13), 2006-07 (13) and 2012-13 (12) teams.
Looking ahead to Thursday’s matchup, the Colonels have swept Tennessee State in the regular season.
“I think Tennessee State is one of the most talented teams in the league,” Hamilton said.
The Colonels defeated Tennessee State, 92-88 on Jan. 18 and on Feb. 20 by a final score of 83-62.
The Colonels will look to shut down Tennessee State’s Carlos Marshall. Marshall is a second team All-OVC selection and is one four TSU players in double figures with 11.8 points-per-game.
Fans can join the Colonels in Evansville by hopping on the fan bus. The fan bus will be departing from Alumni Coliseum on Thursday at 1 p.m. The fan bus is free for students and includes: transportation, meals and snacks on the bus and a single game ticket.
Students can show their student ID for a $5 ticket at the game.
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