Even if it’s not unbeaten, Murray St. likes its at-large chances

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Murray State’s chances for an unbeaten regular season keep getting better and better. A win against rival Austin Peay moved the Racers to 16-0 with a slate they should breeze through until late February.

At least until a BracketBuster opponent is determined.

Selections for the ESPN series of games will made on Jan. 29. Murray State gets to play at home and figures to be the marquee attraction. But, as Andy Katz writes, an ideal Murray State-Creighton showdown can’t happen because the Jays are also hosting a game.

That leaves Long Beach State, St. Mary’s or Wichita State as the only teams that could provide a strong matchup. All three would stiff tests for the Racers.

Both Wichita State and St. Mary’s are rated higher in kenpom.com and, LRMC, Murray State gets the nods in Sagarin and Massey. Throw in the added bonus of playing at home, and you’d have to think the Racers would at least be favored to win against any of those three.

And that’s exactly what Murray State’s after.

Should the Racers not win the Ohio Valley tournament, the chances of them receiving an at-large NCAA tournament bid are hardly automatic. They have solid wins against Dayton, Memphis and Southern Miss, but that’s about it. Coach Steve Prohm doesn’t want to leave anything to chance.

“We’re trying to put ourselves in a position where we’d have a great chance and should get an at-large bid,” Prohm told Rick Bozich of the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Still, even one loss might not be terrible. Joe Lunardi (Insider) notes that the Racers’ profile would be awfully similar to that of 2005-06 George Washington, a team that garnered an 8 seed after losing in the A-10 tournament.

That’d be good for the Racers – and just what a No. 1 seed would hate. Guess someone has to lose in this scenario.

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