Tuesday, December 28, 2010

News On The Horizon 12/28/2010

The Other 26: Week Six--Rush The Court
College Basketball: State Teams Transition To Conference Play--SB Nation Indiana

Can the state get as many as five NCAA Tournament bids?

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Dec 27, 2010 -

With December winding down it is time for the state's college basketball teams to turn to conference play. Notre Dame, Louisville, and possibly Butler have built solid at large profiles for NCAA tournament berths. Everyone else will have to succeed in conference play if they wish to reach the postseason. Valparaiso and IPFW remain as the best bets to have successful conference seasons, but they still must win their respective conference tournaments if they hope to dance. Here is a look at the opening week of conference play around the state:
Ball State vs. Valparaiso - The Crusaders and Cardinals will meet in a final non-conference gameTuesday night before Valpo has a crucial Conference game at Butler on Saturday. Brandon Wood has been on fire of late for the Crusaders, scoring 35 in a 103-102 win over Oakland. If Valpo pulls the upset at Butler on Saturday they will take early control of the Horizon League race.

Meanwhile, Ball State has had an up and down non-conference season. They have beaten DePaul from the Big East, but lost to Division II Alaska Anchorage by 18. The Cardinals also host North Carolina A&T on Friday.

12/27 - College Hoops Week in Review: I hope you all enjoyed your holidays--Ballin' is a Habit

Team of the Week: Butler Bulldogs

Butler may have given life to their chances of earning an at-large bid this season with a win in the Diamond Head Classic out in Hawaii. With wins over Florida State and Washington State, as well as Utah, Butler landed themselves two quality victories against teams that will likely be in the tournament come March. Without much in the way of a resume booster from here on out, the Bulldogs are going to want to win the Horizon Tournament to be safe, but the resume is not what was important coming out of this week.

What's important is that Butler looked like the Butler we expected to see all season long. Matt Howard has really grown as a player in his four season with the Bulldogs. He's now knocking down threes, he's putting the ball on the floor and hitting mid-range shots and fadeaways. He's still a terrific rebounder. He averaged 18.7 ppg and 8.7 rpg this week, upping his averages to 18.1 ppg and 8.2 rpg on the season. Shelvin Mack broke out of his slump this week, scoring 17 points on FSU and 20 on WSU. Andrew Smith looks like he is going to be a force on the block in the Horizon this year. Chase Stigall and Zack Hahn are both knocking down jumpers now. Ronald Nored and Shawn Vanzant are just as pesky and athletic as they were last season. I'm not usually a big believer in the eye test, but this team passed with flying colors this week.

Matthews gets win in return--Salt Lake Tribune

Back again

Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko left the game with 4:57 left during the third quarter and did not return. He is day to day with a lower back strain.

Utah coach Jerry Sloan said that he possibly would have used Kirilenko late in the game, but instead relied upon rookie Gordon Hayward for all 12 minutes of the fourth quarter for the second consecutive contest.

Hayward scored four points via free throws and was 0 of 4 from the field.

Butler's Matt Howard shares Horizon honor--The Indy Star
Cutting down the ‘net: The love is back--Victory Firelight
Matt Howard Named Horizon League Co-Player of the Week--ButlerSports.com

3-Pointers: Viking quest--Sporting News

Cleveland State has played 14 games. The Vikings won 13 of them. And yet that seems not to have impressed the folks who vote for the Associated Press top 25, who presented CSU with a single poll point for the current week.

Which means one person voted the Vikings No. 25. This reminds again how really crappy the polls are at identifying genuine achievement. There are 45 teams ranked by the AP ahead of Cleveland State. Maybe there will be 45 teams better by the end of the year, but a team winning at a 93 percent clip—even when many of those games are on the road—usually has something special about it.

In Sporting News magazine last month, we pointed out teams winning more than 80 percent of their games entering the NCAA Tournament dominate the event. Among the club members in last year’s event: Saint Mary’s, Northern Iowa, Butler.

If the Vikings keep this up, dismiss them at your own peril.

Vikings Still Have a Fan in AP Poll--Let's Go Vikes!
Official Tip-Off Time Set for CSU's Battle With Butler--Let's Go Vikes!
The Year That Cleveland State Had to Play Pretend--Let's Go Vikes!
Vikings Remain Top Ranked Mid-Major, Butler Picking Up Steam--Let's Go Vikes!

Vikings Host Lake Erie Tuesday Night--Let's Go Vikes!
Vikings Return to Action Against Lake Erie on Tuesday--csuvikings.com

Jan. 14 Butler Clash Set for 9 P.M. Tip on ESPNU--detroittitans.com
Titans Return to League Play Thursday--detroittitans.com

Titans Roll Past Marygrove--detroittitans.com

All-Horizon League Non-Conference Teams--ChicagoNow.com
Beavers gain measure of revenge--Whoosh!Net

Shameia Green Earns Second Horizon League Player Of The Week Honor--uicflames.com

Ramblers Head To Cleveland State To Face League-Leading Vikings Thursday Night--LoyolaRamblers.com

Loyola Wraps Up Non-Conference Slate With Wednesday Trip to Northern Illinois--LoyolaRamblers.com

Women's basketball: UWGB's Quilling shines on the bench--Green Bay Press Gazette
January 2 Women's Basketball Game Time Changed--uwgbathletics.com

UWM names Costello new athletic director--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Horizon League Power Rankings (December 21 – 27)--PantherU
Basketball Features - Evan Richard and Joe Allen--Panther Blog Zone
Panthers Return To Action With League Game At Wright State--uwmpanthers.com

Panthers Close Out Non-League Play At Illinois State--uwmpanthers.com

http://www.post-trib.com/sports/2989318,vuball-1228.article--The Post-Tribune
http://www.post-trib.com/sports/2989908,sports-briefs-1228.article--The Post-Tribune
Crusaders back in action--The NWI Times
Wood Named Horizon League Co-Player of the Week--valpoathletics.com

Crusader Women Close Non-Conference Action Thursday--valpoathletics.com

WSU builds confidence from tough schedule--Dayton Daily News
Raiders fare well against top-ranked early season opponents--Dayton Daily News
WSU recruit named MVP of high school holiday tournament--Wright State University Sports
Bring on the Horizon--The Guardian
Raiders Head Back to Horizon League Play--wsuraiders.com
Raider Feature: Chris Moore--wsuraiders.com
Raider Feature: Billy Donlon--wsuraiders.com

WSU women's basketball game moved--Dayton Daily News
Lady Raiders on fire heading into league play--The Guardian
Women's Basketball Game Time at Green Bay Changed--The Guardian

Horizon season heats up for Penguins--Youngstown Vindicator

Rutgers' Costello Named Milwaukee Director of Athletics--Horizon League Network
Butler's Howard, Valpo's Wood Share Horizon League Men's Basketball Player of the Week Honors--Horizon League Network

UIC's Green garners second women's basketball Player of the Week award--Horizon League Network

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