Friday, January 2, 2009

News On The Horizon 01/02/2009

Game! Of! The! Night! 12/30/2008: Cleveland State at Wright State--The Mid-Majority
Good Morning Hoops Nation: December 31--The Mid-Majority

All Division I teams will always be eligible for the same basketball national title as Kansas and Florida, but this emerging trend is putting a whole new spin on the idea of "championship subdivision." The number of games between the top eight conferences and the rest is dwindling even as the number of total games is increasing. The subtextual numbers are clear: during non-conference play, the teams in the Big Six, the Mountain West and Conference USA are now scheduling amongst themselves more often.

Which is exactly what most college basketball fans want. More games between big-time teams in the big-time leagues mean that more fans can be peeled off from football during bowl season, which can result in big-time ratings. And the increasing number of television slots is helping make this happen -- a few years ago, there was no CBS College Sports or Big Ten Network or 1,000 games a year on the Worldwide Leader's growing list of properties, and there was no ESPNU. Nowadays, there are college basketball games on every night during November and December.

If you're a power conference or individual Big Six school in a troubled economy, and you're given the choice between an ESPNU date with a similar-level team on one hand, and a $100,000 payout to a mid-major or potentially embarrassing loss to a Valley or Horizon team on the other, which will you choose? Total no-brainer: you get to save money as well as face, gain some national exposure too. I'm not sure that there's anything resembling mass collusion that's causing BCS schools to scale back on games against our teams, it's all just market forces and logic.
Conference Call

Horizon League: Life in this year's top mid-major conference just got more complicated. In last night's G!O!T!N!, Wright State clamped down on Syracuse-beating preseason favorite Cleveland State 72-61 to send the Vikings into a 1-2 hole. The three remaining undefeateds are 2-0 Butler (off beating UAB in a minor Red Line Upset) and Green Bay. Your surprise conference leader is 3-0 Wisconsin-Milwaukee, which posted an impressive 71-66 win over Illinois-Chicago last night.

The State of the Other 22: Week 5--The Mid-Majority

1. Butler (Horizon League), 113.661, 11-1 (2-0)

Of course, there was no Week 4 here on this site thanks to the holidays, but the index has been churning out results on an hourly basis anyway. The Bulldogs are first in the RPI, fourth in strength of schedule, and first in the TS-22. They're 3-0 since our last transmission of this type, having beaten Florida Gulf Coast, Xavier and UAB. While ball control has been the No. 1 weapon of the past few years, this team is much more dynamic. Take, for example, the UAB win: +6 on turnovers, but a resounding +9 on the boards and a gentlemanly -11 on fouls.
10. Cleveland State (Horizon League), 91.745, 10-5 (1-2)

Oh, Vikings, do you have to turn the Horizon League into a mini-version of last year's A-14? Cleveland State is parenthetically underwater after losing to resurgent Wright State Tuesday night, shooting just 36 percent and allowing the Raiders to shoot 54. But the wins are impressive and will take their hopes far; it probably wouldn't be a good idea to lose again for a while though. They're at Detroit (1/3), then home against the two Chicago teams next week.

Defense, Then Offense Key Wright State Win--Hoopville

Vaden leads UAB by example--The Indy Star
Blazers let halftime lead slip away--Birmingham News
Mack's 6-minute blitz leads Butler--The Indy Star
Davis makes return to Indiana--Birmingham News
Davis recalls IU as time of learning--The Indy Star
Now with Butler ranked, let's look ahead--Indy Star Butler Insider
Butler Basketball Coming To MyNDY
Blazers Drop Close One To No. 25
Butler Rallies To Beat UAB,

Bulldogs Open League Play Against Reigning Tourney Champ Cleveland

Mieskoski's News and Notes--The Fan Home of the Cleveland State Vikings
Punchless in first half, Vikings fall flat against Wright State, 71-62--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Vikings Fall At Wright State,

Vikings Open League Play at Butler on

Titans' late drive falls just short--The Detroit Free Press
Penguins come back to beat Titans--The Detroit Free Press
UDM lets one get away--The Detroit News
Titans Fall To Youngstown State In New Year's Day

Lackluster effort by Illinois-Chicago--The Chicago Tribune
COLLEGE BASKETBALL HIGHLIGHTS: UIC endures tough loss at home--The Chicago Sun-Times
Flames fulfill Collins' worst fears in loss--Daily Herald
Milwaukee Eayrs it out at Pavilion--Whoosh!Net
Men's Basketball Downed By Milwaukee,

NMSU Falls in 1000th Game in Program
Women's Basketball Sinks New Mexico State,

Loyola wins 4th straight by 35 points--The Chicago Tribune
Ramblers get in rhythm in their final tune-up--The Chicago Sun-Times
Loyola of Chicago beats Alcorn St. 88-53--Daily Herald
Loyola of Chicago beats Alcorn St.
Gibler Helps Loyola To Fourth Straight Win With 88-53 Victory Over Alcorn
Loyola Resumes Horizon League Play, Hosts League-Leading Milwaukee

Loyola Opens Horizon League Play With Matinee Against

WMU men's basketball team seeking answers--Kalamazoo Gazette
Broncos Replay: Wisconsin-Green Bay 61, WMU 51--Kalamazoo Gazette
Men's basketball: Perine's offense boosts UWGB over Western Michigan--Green Bay Press Gazette
Broncos Fall to Green Bay, 61-51, to End
Green Bay Grabs 61-51 Road Win at Western

Horizon League women's basketball preview: UWGB prepares for early road battles--Green Bay Press Gazette

Live Blog: MBB at UIC--Panther Blog Zone
Victory serves as wake-up call--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Big James and Avo Lead the Way in 71-66 Firefight Victory Over UIC--Milwaukee Panther Tracks
Live Blog: WBB @ Marquette--Panther Blog Zone
Panthers Ride Balanced Attack To Win At
Panthers Look To Continue Winning Ways At

Panthers Sink Marquette On Last-Second Free Throws,

Crusaders cruise in a tuneup--The Post-Tribune
North Park at Valparaiso, Dec. 30, live blog--Off The Mark
Munster remains perfect this season, in Rumble play--The NWI Times
Mooresville v. Munster boys LIVE--Prep Sports Blog
Crusaders looking to go North--Prep Sports Blog
Wrapping up Non-Conference--Prep Sports Blog
Valparaiso men halt five-game losing streak--The NWI Times
Schneidermeier strong in men's BB loss--North Park University Athletics
Crusaders Cruise to Victory over North

Valpo ends three-game losing skid--The Post-Tribune
VU's Kenney suffers ankle injury in women's team's win--The NWI Times
UNF pushes Valpo, comes up
Crusaders Snap Skid Downing North

Wright State stuns Cleveland State--Dayton Daily News
Too many clanks cost Vikings--Dayton Daily News
Duggins' status uncertain--Dayton Daily News
Raiders beat Vikings--Mark Katz's Blog
Raiders back in hunt--Mark Katz's Blog
Duggins back, for now--Mark Katz's Blog
Raiders down Cleveland State for fifth straight win--Fairborn Daily Herald
Men Defeat Cleveland State to Win Fifth

Women over

Double your pleasure: Jan. schedule dotted by doubleheaders--Youngstown Vindicator
Niemi makes a point by putting team first--Youngstown Vindicator
Mays scores 19 in YSU win; Vytas Sulskis plays key roll--Youngstown Vindicator
Penguins Rally, Hold Off Detroit For 80-78 Road

UT women win sloppy game against Youngstown State--Toledo Blade
Toledo Holds Off Youngstown State in Non-Conference Tilt,
YSU women’s rally falls short at Toledo--Youngstown Vindicator
Late Flurry Comes Up Short as Guins Fall at Toledo,

Men's Basketball Weekly Release #7--The Horizon League
Men's Basketball Scoreboard -- Jan. 1--The Horizon League
Checking in on the… Horizon League--Rush The Court
ATB: Eve of New Years Eve Upsets--Rush The Court

Women's Basketball Release #7--The Horizon League
Women's Basketball Scoreboard -- Dec. 30--The Horizon League

No comments: