HORIZON LEAGUE TOURNEY
Posted by Marty Otto
Set for tip tomorrow, here's the preview from the conference website:
NDIANAPOLIS -- It took until the final game of the regular season for the second straight year, but the field is now set for the 2012 Horizon League Menís Basketball Championship, with Valparaiso collecting its first regular season conference championship since joining the League.
Valparaiso (21-10, 14-4 Horizon) will host the second round and semifinals on March 2-3, and will host the League championship on March 6, should the Crusaders win their semifinal.
Cleveland State (22-9, 12-6 Horizon) rebounded from a late five-game losing streak to win its last two games and grab the double bye as the No. 2 seed. The Vikings last earned the double bye in 2008, reaching the conference championship game.
Detroit (18-13, 11-7 Horizon), Milwaukee (19-12, 11-7 Horizon) and Butler (18-13, 11-7 Horizon) all tied for third, with the Titans emerging on top of the heap courtesy of a 3-1 record against the Panthers and Bulldogs this season. Splitting both series, Milwaukee is the No. 4 seed, while the Bulldogs will be the No. 5 seed, their lowest since the 2005 League Tournament.
Both Youngstown State (15-14, 10-8 Horizon) and Green Bay (15-14, 10-8 Horizon) landed on 10 League wins, giving the conference seven teams with at least 10 League victories for the first time in the conferenceís 33-year history. Despite winning its last four League games to get into the tie, Green Bay will be the No. 7 seed, as the Penguins took the tie-breaker based on their 1-1 record against Detroit.
The duo will meet in the first round of the League Championship on Tuesday, Feb. 28, having split the teamsí meetings in the regular season. Youngstown State won at the Beeghly Center on Jan. 22, 77-47, before Green Bay gained a measure of revenge on the Penguins at home, 71-65.
The No. 8 seed, Wright State (13-18, 7-11 Horizon) will head west on I-70 for a meeting with Butler on Tuesday. The Bulldogs swept the Raiders in the regular season, taking a 63-62 win in the closing seconds to start 2012 before racing out to a double-digit lead and maintaining it throughout to claim a 64-53 victory at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Milwaukee will welcome No. 9 seed UIC (8-21, 3-15 Horizon) to the Klotsche Center, in a rematch from one of the yearís most entertaining conference games. On Dec. 3, UIC missed chances to win at the end of regulation and overtime, falling 73-71 to the Panthers. Milwaukee knocked down 14 three-pointers in the rematch en route to a 72-61 victory on Feb. 23.
In a battle of Jesuit institutions, Detroit (18-13, 11-7 Horizon) will host Loyola (7-22, 1-17 Horizon) in the 3-10 game on Tuesday. Loyola was able to dictate tempo in both games agains the Titans this year, but Detroit was able to emerge with double-digit wins in both instances, 65-54 and 67-52.
The winners of the 3/10 and 6/7 game will meet in a second round game on March 2, ahead of the game featuring the victors in the 4/9 and 5/8 contest. Both will be played at the Athletics-Recreation Center on the Valparaiso campus. The Horizon League Network will have live coverage, also on ESPN3, with the games tipping at 6 p.m. ET and 8:30 p.m. ET.
The second round winners will play in the following dayís semifinal, with Cleveland State playing in the 6 p.m. ET game and Valparaiso featured in the 8:30 p.m. ET game. Both will be carried on ESPNU.
The Horizon League Championship will be played on Tuesday, March 6, at 9 p.m. ET pm ESPN, in the venue of the highest remaining seed. In each of the last seven years, the winner of that game has gone on to win at least one NCAA Tournament game, including Butlerís runs to the national championship in each of the last two years.
2012 Horizon League Menís Basketball Championship:
First Round - Tuesday, Feb. 28 (campus sites)
Game 1: (10) Loyola at (3) Detroit, 7 p.m. ET
Game 2: (7) Green Bay at (6) Youngstown State, 7:05 p.m. ET
Game 3: (9) UIC at (4) Milwaukee, 8 p.m. ET
Game 4: ( Wright State at (5) Butler, 7 p.m. ET
Second Round - Friday, March 2 (Valparaiso)
Game 5: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 6 p.m. ET (Horizon League Network | ESPN3)
Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 8:30 p.m. ET (Horizon League Network | ESPN3)
Semifinals - Saturday, March 3 (Valparaiso)
Game 7: Game 5 winner vs. (2) Cleveland State, 6 p.m. ET (ESPNU - tape delayed at 10:30 p.m. ET; live on ESPN3)
Game 8: Game 6 winner at (1) Valparaiso, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Championship - Tuesday, March 6 (highest remaining seed)
Game 9: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner
Tags: All Teams - Men's Basketball ∑ Horizon League - Men's Basketball
Reply by Teddy_Covers
Compared to the great Butler teams to come out of this conference in recent years, the Horizon League is waaaaaaay down in 2012. Not an elite team in the bunch, or even a very good one, IMHO. The chalk here can be beat, don't be shocked if a mid-range seed gets hot and covers some spreads/cashes some moneylines on the way to the championship game. All four home teams tonight certainly have that potential.
Reply by Ian Cameron
I've got my eye on Detroit in this tournament. I came into the season with high hopes for them and they've been a bit of a disappointment this season. They have Ray McCallum and Chase Simon, plus the big man Eli Holman. This team has that inside-outside balance to be a very good team in this conference but some mediocre coaching and play has hampered them throughout the season. I still think of any of the lower seed teams here, Detroit is the one that could be that darkhorse that can upset a Cleveland State or Valpo in the end. Should the price be right (definitely prefer this team as a dog than a fav), I'll look to back the Titans later on as the tournament progresses.
If they get to the Semifinals as I suspect they should and play #2 seed Cleveland State, that might be the game I'll try to look their way.
Reply by AndrewL
Under, Under, Under, Over, Under, Under, Over
Last year's tourney at same venue
EDIT: My bad....those are the OVC FYI...lol
Reply by FairwayJay
agree w/Detroit possibility, but took Loyola Chicago (+13) as big 'Dog and cashed last night wire to wire. Ramblers shot 50% in defeat as they have gotten healthier and more competitive later in season. Classic Big 'Dog playing all-or nothing game while superior team less interested and motivated and moving on to greater challenges ahead.
Reply by Marty Otto
Valpo looking for sixth straight H2H win over Detroit tonight and a ticket to the Big Dance. Strong home court this season. They rallied to outscore Detroit by 14 in the 2H last meeting in early Feb here, a five point victory.