Checking in on the… Horizon League

Posted by nvr1983 on February 27th, 2009

Damon Lewis, a reporter and play-by-play announcer for the Horizon League Network, is RTC’s Horizon League correspondent.

Butler: 14-3; 24-4
Green Bay: 13-4; 22-8
Cleveland State: 12-5; 21-9
Wright State: 11-6; 17-12
Milwaukee: 10-7; 15-13
Youngstown State: 7-10; 11-17
UIC: 6-11; 14-14
Loyola: 6-11; 14-16
Valparaiso: 4-13; 8-21
Detroit: 2-15; 7-21

With the final day of the regular season taking place on Saturday, we’re going to utilize the “bullet point” method this week. There are only a few items of importance that will be sorted out on Saturday…all of that having to do with seeding for the Horizon League Tournament, which gets underway on Tuesday, March 3rd. I’ll be providing a preview of the HL Tourney in the coming days…in which we’ll discuss the match-ups and recap the post-season awards. No more stalling…here we go!

  • First of all, I’ve spent the last two weeks wiping egg off my face thanks to Loyola. 48 hours after I verbally abused the Ramblers, they strolled into Hinkle Fieldhouse and handed Butler their first Horizon League home loss in nearly two seasons. Ironically, the Ramblers were also the victors on that fateful February night in 2007…but that Loyola team was of the 20-win variety. This one, obviously, is not. Kudos to Jim Whitesell and his staff for momentarily sending the Bulldogs into dreaded “bubble-status.”
  • Speaking of Butler, their win against Davidson in the BracketBusters seems to have solidified them as a lock for the NCAA Tournament. Things remain tight atop the Horizon League standings, and thanks to a complicated series of tie-breakers…the HL Tournament could still conceivably end up somewhere outside of Hinkle Fieldhouse. It’s no secret that the young Bulldogs have been inconsistent lately, so there’s a handful of teams that could make a run in the HL Tourney. It wouldn’t be incredibly shocking to see Green Bay, Cleveland State, Milwaukee, or Wright State make a run for the NCAA auto-bid. Butler will be the favorite if they’re at home…but if the HL Tournament ends up elsewhere, all bets are off. As we mentioned above, however, Butler is seemingly a lock for the NCAA Tournament, but securing the NCAA auto-bid could significantly lift their seed in the Big Dance.
  • As it stands right now, heading into the final day of the regular season on 2/28, Butler could end up as either the #1 or #2-seed in the HL Tournament, Green Bay could end up #1, #2, or #3, Cleveland State could end up anywhere from #2 thru #4, Wright State could finish #3, #4, or #5, while Milwaukee could slide in at #4 or #5. Youngstown State is in good position to finish as the #6-seed, and host a 1st-round game, but the Penguins could possibly end up as the #7-seed, and have to hit the road to open the HL Tournament. The winner of tonight’s UIC / Loyola tilt will be the team to challenge Youngstown State for the #6-seed, while the loser will end up as the #8-seed. Valparaiso will be the #9-seed, and Detroit is a lock for the #10-spot. Confused? Good.

GAMES TO WATCH (2.27.09 – 3.10.09)
2.27.09 Loyola vs. UIC – 9:00pm ET on ESPNU
2.28.09 Butler vs. Cleveland State – 12:00pm ET on ESPN2; Wright State vs. Green Bay – 7:00pm ET on HLN
3.3.09 Horizon League Tournament 1st Round (4) – TBA on HLN
3.6.09 Horizon League Tournament 2nd Round (2) – TBA on HLN
3.7.09 Horizon League Tournament Semifinals (2) – TBA on ESPNU
3.10.09 Horizon League Tournament Championship – 9:00pm ET on ESPN

*HLN refers to the Horizon League Network, the Horizon League’s broadband initiative, which is set to webcast 130 men’s basketball games this season…including out-of-conference “home” contests and ALL in-league matchups. The Horizon League offers the service for FREE, and signing up takes about 30 seconds. The site also offers on-demand content, team-specific features, and a weekly update featuring the “goings-on” around the league. The site also features a blog, if you’re really craving more Horizon League content.

nvr1983 (1397 Posts)

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