Horizon League: Wisconsin has always been above Illinois and Indiana from a geographical standpoint, but the state chose Sunday to exert a kind of weird sports power over its immediate southern neighbors. Front-running Valparaiso was taken down at home by Green Bay Valpo was suffering some injury problems, most specifically to star shooter Brandon Wood. Meanwhile, down south, gutsy Milwaukee -- a .500 team's .500 team this year -- completed a home-and-home sweep over national runners-up Butler with an 86-80 overtime win. Matt Howard was relied on heavily this weekend (29 points and 16 rebounds in Friday's 81-75 win over Green Bay); against the Panthers, he had 18 and 10, but he wasn't around for the end, having fouled out. That ended Butler's 15-game Horizon League home win streak, marked the first time the Bulldogs have been swept by a conference opponent since 2005, and left the Bulldogs looking for answers.
Game 7-039: Illinois-Chicago at Loyola (Ill.)--The Mid-Majority
Ten Tuesday Scribbles--Rush The Court
- Could we possibly have an NCAA Tournament without Cinderella darlings Gonzaga and Butler? Admittedly, that term doesn’t appropriately apply to these schools anymore, not with the Zags riding one of the longest NCAA Tournament appearance streaks in the nation and Butler reaching the title game last March. At this stage in the season it’s genuinely possible, although somewhat unlikely, that both programs will be making NIT reservations about seven weeks from today. Usually Gonzaga stumbles on the road once during their WCC trek where every visit to an opposing gym is the other team’s Super Bowl, but twice in one road swing to mediocre teams like Santa Clara and San Francisco? Although Butler went through the Horizon unscathed last season, normally the same applies for the Bulldogs in conference play once or twice, but swept by a .500 team like Milwaukee? Both Gonzaga and Butler lie dangerously close to the bubble right now with limited opportunities for tournament-boosting victories ahead and formidable contenders dotting both leagues. Luckily for Gonzaga, the emergence of St. Mary’s gives the Zags two games, along with a clash with Memphis in February as a third, to enhance their portfolio. Who knows: in a little over a month, Gonzaga and Butler may both have to win their respective conference tournaments to go dancing. Who foresaw that scenario?
Don't give up on tourney mainstays Butler and Gonzaga just yet--Sports Illustrated
Butler's down season is puzzling--College Basketball Blog
Suddenly, the Jazz Are Very Doom and Gloom--The Big Lead
Kragthorpe: Jazz’s downturn leads to depressing forecast--Salt Lake Tribune
For all of his leadership and dependability, Raja Bell appears every bit of 34 years old, shooting poorly and defending inadequately. Nobody’s sure what to think of rookie Gordon Hayward.
Utah Jazz: Deron Williams misses good-old days of … last season--Deseret News
Williams knew it would take a while for the 2010-11 team to jell, considering the addition of Al Jefferson, Raja Bell, Earl Watson, Gordon Hayward, etc., along with the 2010 losses of Jazz system connoisseurs Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver, Wesley Matthews and Ronnie Brewer.
Sloan, meanwhile, will continue to try to adjust the lineup in hopes of finding the blend and combinations that work best together. Replacing Andrei Kirilenko with rookie Gordon Hayward in the starting lineup didn't change the outcome Saturday at Philadelphia, and the Jazz coach wasn't quite Monday sure whom he'll start or sit tonight.
Utah Jazz: Gameday glance--Deseret News
Utah Jazz: C.J. Miles gets starting nod tonight--Deseret News
The sixth-year pro will replace Gordon Hayward in the opening lineup after the rookie replaced usual starter Andrei Kirilenko at the 3 spot for one game (a 96-85 loss at Philadelphia).
Butler still in at-large discussion--The Indy Star
Cutting down the ‘Net: Bracket headache--Indy Star Butler Insider
Chloe Hamilton Named Horizon League Player of the Week--ButlerSports.com
Vikes Rebound from Recent Horizon League Losses--The Cauldron
Cole Collects Third Horizon League Player Of The Week Award Of The Season--csuvikings.com
Vikings Start Chicago Swing At UIC On Thursday--csuvikings.com
Shayok Now 30th In Rebounding--detroittitans.com
Kreps can’t save Flames--Whoosh!Net
Surging Ramblers Look For Series Sweep When They Host Youngstown State Thursday Night--LoyolaRamblers.com
Horizon League Power Rankings (January 18-24)--PantherU
No more room for Hyde--PantherU
Valparaiso injury update--The Post-Tribune
Crusaders let one slip away--The NWI Times
Valpo Women Open Four-Game Homestand Thursday--valpoathletics.com
WSU's Land likely not playing this weekend--Dayton Daily News
Upsets tighten Horizon League race--Dayton Daily News
WSU, like all schools, paying more for basketball coaches--Dayton Daily News
WSU’s Donlon: Contract is fair--Dayton Daily News
Cartharn and Mays find friendship and competitive bond on bench--The Guardian
Fox and Davis too much to handle for Cleveland State--The Guardian
Progress doesn’t show in standings--Youngstown Vindicator
Men’s Basketball Visits Loyola For Program’s 2,000th Game--ysusports.com
Success Breeding Toughness--Horizon League Network