Mid-Major Powers Lock Horns
The Belmont Bruins and Murray State Racers are mid-major royalty. These two programs have had many celebrated encounters this century, and both have made numerous appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
Murray State has the upper hand here and is probably the bigger factor for March Madness odds, but Belmont can learn something before the OVC tournament in early March.
Belmont: Ability to Win at Any Speed
The Belmont Bruins have scored over 80 points in multiple recent wins. They also won a recent game within the past two weeks in which they didn’t even score 50 but held their opponent to 47.
Belmont has won 10 straight games since losing at Morehead State on Jan. 20. The Bruins have regularly had an answer for a succession of stubborn opponents. They have played a number of close games but have found ways to fight through and win them.
One of their more notable escapes was a game against Tennessee Tech in which they trailed by 15 at one point in the first half, but scrambled back to force overtime and eventually win 100-92.
Belmont is 14-2 in Ohio Valley play, but the Bruins aren’t in first place for the sole reason that their opponent, Murray State, has established a perfect and untouchable standard.
Murray State Answering Every Challenge
The Racers haven’t lost since falling to Auburn, a top-five team, back in late 2021. Murray State has beaten Penny Hardaway’s Memphis team and nearly every other opponent it has faced.
The Auburn setback is obviously a quality loss to a great team (Auburn is likely to be a No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament). Murray State’s only bad loss is to East Tennessee State in mid-November.
Murray State, much like Belmont, can win at any speed. The Racers just won an ugly game against Tennessee Martin 62-60.
They have won games scoring in the 50s, 70s and 90s in the past three weeks. Murray State is 16-0 in Ohio Valley Conference play, giving the Racers a two-game lead over Belmont heading into this game.
You can see that both teams have escaped some close games in recent weeks. It’s ironic that Murray beat Belmont by 22 points last month.
Belmont vs Murray State Head-to-Head
These teams met on Jan. 15 at Belmont. Murray State roared to a 48-35 halftime lead and expanded that advantage in cruising to an 82-60 win.
It was an authoritative statement to Belmont and the rest of the OVC that Murray State means business. Belmont faces a very tall task in trying to reverse a 22-point margin and swing it enough in the other direction to win outright.
A 23-point change from the last game? That’s a big mountain to climb.
Belmont vs Murray State Game Information
- Game: Belmont Bruins (24-5) at Murray State Racers (26-2)
- Location: CFSB Center – Murray, KY
- Day/Time: Thursday, 9 p.m. ET
- Television: ESPNU
Belmont vs Murray State Betting Lines
Belmont vs Murray State Prediction
Those who bet online know that Belmont is a quality team, but Murray State seems to be in its own separate league. The Racers are going to be extremely tough to beat at home.
They’re going to want to complete a perfect record in conference play. They should be able to do it, so take them with your college basketball picks.