Over the last decade or so, Murray State has positioned itself to be the premium Mid-Major Basketball program in the country. It feels like every year, Murray State is winning the Ohio Valley Conference or competing for another NCAA Tournament win, or even producing the next NBA All-Star.
Unlike other Mid-Majors across College Basketball, Murray State embraces the grind of being the underdog whenever they take the court against some of College Basketball’s biggest names. No matter the stage, Murray State shows up, and the rest of the College Basketball world has taken notice of their success which has made the Racers into one of the best basketball programs in the country.
Some around College Basketball have started to draw correlations between Murray State and Kentucky. Murray State and Kentucky are on different planets when it comes to standards, but there’s no doubt that Murray State is the gold standard of Mid-Major programs. Murray State has made 17 NCAA Tournament appearances in their history, including completely dominating the OVC since joining the conference back in 1948.
Murray State has also produced top-level NBA talent in the last decade that has forever changed the way people view Mid-Major Basketball. Just recently, Murray State developed and produced the NBA All-Star Ja Morant, who has completely changed an entire franchise in the Memphis Grizzlies. Murray State also has another guy in the same franchise who has taken the G-League by storm. That guy goes by the name of Shaq Buchannan. Both Shaq and Ja are living proof of the impact Murray State has on the game of Basketball on all levels.
With all of that being said, what separates Murray State from the rest of the Mid-Major schools is the fan support the Racers have on any given night. Unless you’ve been there yourself, it’s hard to describe the homecourt advantage that Murray State has when they play in front of a sold-out CFSB Center is unmatched in all of College Basketball. Murray State fans are some of the kindest, most knowledgable fans in all of College Basketball, but when the Racers are playing, the entire city of Murray, Kentucky, shuts down to give the Racer nation a chance to go and cheer on their boys. That homecourt advantage also creates a unique recruiting advantage when trying to land top-level talent for Murray State.
Like Kentucky fans, Murray State fans will sell out arenas across the OVC Conference on a random Thursday night just to leave a lasting impression on the hometown team. Murray State is also well known for making the OVC Tournament a destination of sorts for their fans as the Racers are constantly playing for championships every year.
Murray State has won seventeen straight games and wrapped up winning the OVC Regular Season Championship, but the Racers are nowhere near being done. If I were to pick a Mid-Major program to go on a run and somehow find a way to the Final Four, that team would be Murray State. Coach McMahon has his Racers playing some of the best basketball in the country, and you can bet the Racers faithful will be there every step of the way cheering on their Racers to New Orleans.