Golden Eagles hope to capture title, national spotlight at OVC Tournament

OVC Tournament Information Page at OVCsports.com
Men's Tournament OVC Insider Page

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Tech men's basketball team hopes to not only claim the 2010 Ohio Valley Conference title this weekend in Nashville, the Golden Eagles can also grab the attention of the nation by winning the crown in front of a national TV audience on ESPNU and ESPN2.

Friday night's semifinal game against Morehead State in the Bridgestone Arena (formerly the Sommet Center) will be televised by ESPNU. If the sixth-seeded Golden Eagles are able to upset the No. 2 seeded MSU Eagles, Tech would play in the title game Saturday at 7 p.m. in a game slated for ESPN2.

Golden Eagle fans can purchase tickets at the Athletic Ticket Office in Eblen Center until noon on Thursday. After that, tickets can be purchased at Bridgestone Arena. Tickets are $20 per session, with a specially-priced student ticket for only $5 for Tech students with a valid TTU ID.

To get Tech fans prepared for the game, the TTU Alumni Relations Office is hosting a pregame event at the Big River Grille on Broadway Avenue in Nashville. The event will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Tech reached the semifinals by virtue of Tuesday night's 68-65 victory at No. 3 seed Austin Peay when sophomore Kevin Murphy drained a game-winning 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds remaining.

Friday's game with Morehead State will be Tech's sixth this season against team which played last year in the NCAA Tournament, including then-No. 1 Kansas.

The game will be a record-breaking night for guard Frank Davis. It will be his 125th career game as a Golden Eagle and establish another school record for the senior from Gainesville, Ga. Davis is currently tied with Anthony Fisher for most career games at 124. Earlier this year, Davis set the school career record for most 3-pointers made.

Tech is making its first visit to Nashville for the final rounds since the 2005-06 season, when it lost to Samford, 73-66, in the semifinals. The Golden Eagles are seeking their first appearance in the OVC championship game since falling to Austin Peay in 2002-03

The Golden Eagles have been to the finals of the OVC Tournament just three times in the past. The first was in the OVC Holiday Tournament in 1967 under coach Kenny Sidwell. Coach Jeff Lebo took Tech to the finals in 2001-02 in Louisville, losing to Murray State, 70-69. Current coach Mike Sutton had Tech in the title game in 2002-03, falling to Austin Peay, 63-57. If Tech can down Morehead State, Sutton would be the first Tech coach to get his team into the championship game twice.

With the win at APSU, Sutton recorded his 129th victory as Golden Eagle head coach. That ties him with Frank Harrell for the second-most victories by a men's head coach at the university. Harrell won 129 games between 1988 and 1997, directing Tech for nine full seasons and most of a 10th after taking over in Hawaii after five games.  Sutton is currently in his eighth season at the Golden Eagle helm.

The all-time leader in wins is Putty Overall, who posted 164 victories during 15 seasons between 1924 and 1946.

2010 Ohio Valley Conference Men's Baketball Tournament Schedule

Semifinals - Friday, March 5 (Bridgestone Arena - Nashville, Tenn.)
Semifinal #1 - No. 1 Murray State vs. No. 4 Eastern Illinois, 6:00 p.m. CT (ESPNU)
Semifinal #2 - No. 2 Morehead State vs. No. 6 Tennessee Tech, 8:00 p.m. CT (ESPNU)

Championship - Saturday, March 6 (Bridgestone Arena - Nashville, Tenn.)
Championship Game, 7:00 p.m. (ESPN2)