The field for the 2021 Ohio Valley Conference Women’s Basketball Championship Presented by Kentucky Wild has been set after the final day of the regular season.
Prior to the start of the season, due to the fluid nature of the pandemic, contingency plans were put into place if full conference schedules could not be completed for men's and women's basketball this season. Therefore this year's bracket is a traditional format (1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, etc.) as opposed to the merit-based bracket (involving byes for the top four seeds). This was a one-year measure only.
UT Martin earned the No. 1 seed while Belmont is the No. 2 seed while Southeast Missouri is the No. 3 seed. Jacksonville State earned the No. 4 seed followed by Tennessee Tech at No. 5 and Murray State at No. 6. Austin Peay will be the No. 7 seed and EIU rounds out the field at No. 8.
This year marks the fourth-straight year the event has been held at the Ford Center, which opened in 2011 and is located in the core of Evansville’s downtown district. The event is scheduled to be at the venue through at least 2023.
This year's the entire championship can be seen on ESPN+, the industry-leading sports streaming service that offers fans in the U.S. thousands of live sports events, original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks and exclusive editorial content from dozens of ESPN writers and reporters. Launched in April 2018, ESPN+ has grown to more than 10.3 million subscribers. Fans can subscribe to ESPN+ for $5.99 a month (or $49.99 per year) or as part of a bundle with Disney+ and ad-supported Hulu ($12.99/month). Games aired on an ESPN network will also be available through the ESPN App, accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets and connected devices to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider. All events will be available for replay on the ESPN App.
This year the OVC has followed guidance from the NCAA and the OVC Medial Advisory Group and worked extensively with the Mayor’s Reopen Evansville Task Force, the Vanderburgh County Health Department, Deaconess Hospital and the Ford Center to put into place additional health and safety protocols to keep the participants, workers and fans safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the protocols are masks being required for all attendees in addition to spectator seating being limited and divided into socially-distanced pods. For complete details visit www.OVCSports.com/Protocols.
Additionally, as part of an ongoing commitment to safety and security, aligning with the best practices at major entertainment and athletics venues, there is now a "Clear Bag Policy" in effect at the Ford Center. Fans are encouraged to visit www.OVCSports.com/ClearBag for complete details on the policy.
2021 OVC Women's Basketball Championship Presented by Kentucky Wild (Ford Center - Evansville, Ind.)
First Round - Wednesday, March 3
Game 1 - #1 UT Martin vs. #8 Eastern Illinois – 1 p.m.
Game 2 - #2 Belmont vs. #7 Austin Peay – 3:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
First Round - Thursday, March 4
Game 3 - #4 Jacksonville State vs. #5 Tennessee Tech
– 1 p.m. (ESPN+)
Game 4 - #3 Southeast Missouri vs. #6 Murray State - 3:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
Semifinals - Friday, March 5
Game 5 - Game 1 Winner vs. Game 3 Winner – 1 p.m. (ESPN+)
Game 6 - Game 2 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner – 3:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
Championship - Saturday, March 6
Game 7 - Semifinal Winners – 2 p.m. (ESPN+)
All Times Central