Wednesday, February 3, 2010

News On The Horizon 2/3/2010

The Hoops National: February 2, 2010--The Mid-Majority

Matchups for the 8th annual BracketBusters event were announced yesterday. You can get a full list of all the matchups here, including all the non-televised games. We'll have plenty to say about the event itself later, but the thing to remember is that for most teams, it's a SchedulingBuster -- the home teams have to return the games, which plugs an important hole in the November or December 2010 2011 calendar. Siena at Butler is the big TV game, obviously, since they're the only two sub-Red Liners you don't have to make a complicated at-large case for. Also, in sidenote: it's awful nice that ESPN has put all the games on real TV, and not their pay-per-Pixelvision. That was garbage.

Breaking Down the Bracketbusters…--Rush The Court

Saturday 2/20 (RPI)

Siena (#44) @ Butler (#19) – 11 am on ESPN2/ESPN360

The owner of the nation’s longest winning streak, Siena at thirteen straight, will go into an extremely tough environment at Butler in Saturday’s first Bracketbuster game. The Saints are led by 6’5 senior Edwin Ubiles and his 15.8 points per game as he makes his case for MAAC Player of the Year despite some lingering shoulder issues. Alex Franklin plays bigger than his 6’5 frame to lead the Saints down low with 16.1 points per game. On the other side, Butler’s Gordon Hayward has been a beast for the Bulldogs this year, scoring 16.1 points per game and tying a season-high 25 in Sunday’s comeback win over UW-Milwaukee. Hayward, a sophomore, is already attracting the attention of NBA scouts. Fellow sophomore Shelvin Mack has scored 15 points per game and Matt Howard, when not in foul trouble, scores 11 points per game. Howard has been tough to defend inside, going off for 23 points in Butler’s nine-point loss to Minnesota, but has had issues with foul trouble, getting disqualified in three of the Bulldogs’ four losses. It will be interesting to see how Siena defends Hayward and Howard and how this veteran Saints team led by seniors Ubiles, Franklin and Ronald Moore can contain this explosive offense on the road.

Breaking down the BracketBusters tilts--College Hoops Journal

It’s a worthwhile event, but one that usually falls short of having six or seven must-see matchups. That’s the case again this season. There are two teams currently ranked who will be a part of the made-for-TV event — Butler and Northern Iowa — but they won’t be playing each other. Siena, a team riding the nation’s longest winning streak, gets to go up against Butler. That is a game worth watching. But are the others?

This year’s 22 BracketBusters teams represent 10 conferences and:

• Nineteen teams in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) top 100.
• Seven 2009 NCAA Tournament participants: Northern Iowa; Siena; Butler; Morgan Sate; Akron; Virginia Commonwealth; Utah State
• Sixteen teams with 15 or more wins overall: Old Dominion; Northern Iowa; William & Mary; Iona; Siena; Butler; Morgan State; Murray State; La. Tech; Missouri State; Akron; Virginia Commonwealth; George Mason; Western Carolina; Wichita State; Utah State
• Four teams undefeated in conference play: Butler; Siena; Morgan State and Murray State

Here are the games and quick evaluations:
Feb. 2o

• Siena at Butler; 11 ET (ESPN2). The marquee game at 11 a.m.? So be it. Siena is for sure out of at-large talk if it can’t win against the Bulldogs. The Saints have fallen against every “name” team they’ve played this season. Butler has some wiggle room, but that’s primarily because it’s undefeated so far in the Horizon. This game is out of league, of course, so Butler’s unblemished Horizon mark won’t be threatened.

Of BracketBuster, RPI and other things--Indy Star Butler Insider
Bulldogs Begin Homestand Against
LIVE BLOG: Men's Basketball vs.

Is it time to expand the NCAA Basketball Tournament?--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Waters: Vikings face make-or-break week with road games vs. Illinois-Chicago and Loyola--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Preview of Vikings Trip to Chi-Town--The Fan Home of the Cleveland State Vikings

Vikings Return Home to Host

Detroit Hits The Road To Face No. 23/15 Butler On FOX Sports

Thursday = WBB Showdown in

Thursday's matchup: Cleveland State at UIC--The Chicago Tribune
UIC's Buttell: Sick of just playing. I want to win.--Players Only
Men's Basketball Hosts Cleveland State This Thursday

Women's Basketball Heads To Cleveland State On

Loyola's Andy Polka: A rough month, but hope on the Horizon--Players Only
Horizon League inks deal with ESPN--Loyola Phoenix
Loyola stuck in midseason funk--Loyola Phoenix
Back Home, Loyola Seeks Strong Start To Final Month Of Regular

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down--Loyola Phoenix

Rob Demovsky column: Being Butler is only a dream--Green Bay Press Gazette
Bulldogs too much for Phoenix men, despite foul trouble--UWGB Fourth Estate

Phoenix women beat down dogs--UWGB Fourth Estate

Panthers Kick Off Road Trip At Wright

The current state of Valpo Basketball--Dave's Thoughts and Rants
Valpo Returns Home for Three Games in Five

WSU hoops positioning for postseason--Dayton Daily News
Wright State women’s basketball to play this Weekend’s games at Sinclair--Fairborn Daily Herald

Women's Basketball Weekly Release #12--The Horizon League
Winning year after year in Horizon League women's hoops--The Horizon League

Now Walk It By Yourself...--Horizon League Network

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