Wednesday, March 2, 2011

News On The Horizon 3/2/2011

Tourney Central 3/2/2011 (Day 2)--The Mid-Majority
Ten Tuesday Scribbles--Rush The Court

Two conference tournaments that have my interest piqued this week are the Horizon League and the Missouri Valley. Not only do they feature a handful of well-known former Cinderellas and marquee mid-major programs (Butler, Wichita State, Northern Iowa, Valparaiso) and high-major caliber players (Norris Cole, Matt Howard, Kyle Weems, Gregory Echenique), but the fields are as wide open as ever. There’s no ranked team playing on their home floor as has been the case with Butler in the Horizon the last few seasons. In fact, due to their sweep of the Bulldogs, Milwaukee, a team led by seniors Anthony Hill and Tone Boyle that hasn’t lost in league play since January 21, earned the #1 seed and will host the tournament. Butler obviously has the firepower to win in Milwaukee with Howard and preseason conference POY Shelvin Mack, while Cleveland State can pull it off if Cole receives enough help from his supporting cast. Detroit’s plethora of transfers are very talented, Valparaiso has an outstanding guard in Brandon Wood and Wright State the same with Vaughn Duggins. The MVC is a one-bid league this season which will make the tournament even more intriguing. Missouri State and Wichita State are the favorites going in, but don’t count out Northern Iowa, Indiana State or Creighton.

Horizon League Wrap & Tourney Preview--Rush The Court
O26 Primers: Big South and Horizon League Tourneys--Rush The Court
ATB: Who Wants to Play in This Tournament?--Rush The Court

Conf Tourneys. Two conference tournaments kicked off Championship Fortnight tonight with 1st Round action. Here’s what you need to know.
* Horizon League. The opening round of the HL Tournament bore no surprises, as the four home teams — #3 Cleveland State, #4Valparaiso, #5 Detroit, and #6 Wright State — all won handily. The quarterfinals matching CSU and WSU in one game and Valpo and Detroit in the other will take place Friday night at Milwaukee, with the winners advancing to play #1 UWM and #2 Butler on Saturday. This is a league where any number of things could happen; it’ll be interesting to keep an eye on it.

Previewing the Madness: The Horizon League Tournament--Ballin' is a Habit
Big dreams come in little packages--ESPN

Horizon (27). March 1-8 at various sites.
Top seed: Milwaukee (split regular-season title with Butler, Cleveland State).
Minutes tourney champ prediction: Butler.
Storyline: Just when everyone was ready to write off the Bulldogs after three straight losses dropped them to 6-5 in the league, they regained their form. Butler has won seven straight to close the regular season, earning a No. 2 seed, a double-bye into the semifinals and a possible date with No. 3 Cleveland State -- a team the Bulldogs have beaten twice this season. Milwaukee closed on a roll of its own, winning nine straight league games, but the March experience advantage goes to Butler.
Sagarin conference rank: 10th out of 31.
Last time league champ won an NCAA tourney game: Butler last year. You may have heard something about it.

Projecting the conference tournaments winners (part I of II)

Horizon League

Dates: March 1, 4-5, 8

Site: Milwaukee, Wisc.

Outlook: If Butler is even going to have an opportunity to make another memorable NCAA tournament run, the Bulldogs may need to win the Horizon League tournament. Butler could still earn an at-large bid thanks to non-league wins over Florida State and Washington State, but the Bulldogs certainly will not feel safe without the automatic bid. The trouble for Butler is that path will not be easy. Up first will likely be either conference player of the year favorite Norris Cole and Cleveland State or longtime nemesis Wright State, followed by perhaps host Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the title game.

Projected champion: Butler (JE), Butler (CC), Butler (RG), Cleveland State (GW)

Dark horse: Cleveland State (JE), Valparaiso (CC), Detroit (RG), Detroit (GW)

And the Horizonys go to…--Joe Sports
NIT Bracketology - Return of the Bracket
Loyola and UIC's seasons end too quickly, too
Tuesday Truths--Basketball Prospectus

Horizon (FINAL): The curious case of Milwaukee

W-L Pace PPP Opp. PPP EM
1. Cleveland St. 13-5 66.4 1.09 0.99 +0.10
2. Butler 13-5 63.9 1.11 1.02 +0.09
3. Valparaiso 12-6 66.4 1.03 0.98 +0.05
4. Wright St. 10-8 62.2 1.04 1.02 +0.02
5. Detroit 10-8 69.6 1.07 1.05 +0.02
6. Milwaukee 13-5 66.1 1.06 1.04 +0.02
7. Green Bay 8-10 65.8 1.03 1.04 -0.01
8. Loyola 7-11 64.5 1.02 1.03 -0.01
9. UIC 2-16 65.4 0.95 1.08 -0.13
10. Youngstown St. 2-16 69.4 0.96 1.10 -0.14

AVG. 66.0 1.04

The Horizon plays a round-robin schedule so we can say with some degree of confidence that Milwaukee is, at best, this league's fourth-best team. Nevertheless an OT win at Youngstown State on Saturday won the Panthers the 1-seed in the Horizon tournament. That's huge, because it means Rob Jeter's team not only receives a bye that lands them in the semifinals but also that they'll be playing on their home court. Meanwhile 2-seed Butler's being shown as an NCAA at-large on most projected brackets. That being said, the Bulldogs would be well advised to win their semifinal at Milwaukee on Saturday evening against either Cleveland State, Wright State, Green Bay, or Illinois-Chicago.

Top Five Sacred Arenas--Lost Letterman

4. Hinkle Fieldhouse (Butler)

Thanks to last year’s Final Four run, Butler’s program has risen to national prominence. But it was in 1986 that Hinkle Fieldhouse was immortalized thanks to arguably the best sports movie of all time, Hoosiers. The host of the championship game in the famed film and in real life during the 1954 “Milan Miracle,” Hinkle Fieldhouse ascended to legendary status. Opened in 1928, the court that has long held Indiana high school tournaments and because of the likes of Billy Chitwood, Hickory High, Gene Hackman, and the good old picket fence, Hinkle Fieldhouse has a mythical ambiance to it that will outlast time. It’s also got a beautiful view inside, as the interior feels like a giant warehouse.

Conference Tournaments – Bid Stealing 101--The Bracket Man

Conference: Horizon League
School: Butler
Record: 20-9 (13-5)
Why: 3 Top 50 wins, 5 Top 100 wins (3 away from home), Top 50~ RPI, Top 100 SOS.
Chance to Dance: 40% – Might depend on who the Bulldogs lose to (RPI). Either way, could Butler withstand 6 losses to Horizon League teams with 3 (maybe 4) of them being “bad losses”?

Utah Jazz eager to hit the practice floor--Deseret News

Like his predecessor, Corbin continues to tinker with lineup combinations in hopes of finding the best matchups that will work against different opponents.

For example, Ronnie Price didn't play a minute Monday night after seeing extended minutes Saturday, and it was the exact opposite for Gordon Hayward.

Utah Jazz: Youngsters Hayward, Favors show maturity on the court--Deseret News
Youth movement--Salt Lake Tribune

For 13 minutes against Boston, Jazz youngsters Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors were on the floor at the same time.

Hayward is 20. Favors is 19.

"They were playing a good game," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "They didn’t look, act or play like 20- and 19-year-old kids. …

"They did a good job. They were aggressive. They played good defense and they fought their guys in tough situations. It was a pleasure to see."

Hours before the Jazz-Boston game, Tyrell Corbin scored 33 points in West High’s 51-41 win over Riverton in the Class 5-A state basketball tournament.

But the Jazz coach doesn’t think his 18-year-old son is NBA-ready, despite his closeness in age to Hayward and Favors.

Referring to the Jazz rookies, Corbin said, "That’s how these guys are. They’ve been around the game forever. They played a lot of basketball. To their credit, they’re ready for it."

Cornette weighs in on Horizon League tourney--Victory Firelight

Butler Women's Basketball Meet Devin Brierly--activelife

Tim Kamczyk praised by Gary Waters for hustle against Illinois-Chicago: Cleveland State Insider--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Second-half fade can't prevent Cleveland State from topping Illinois-Chicago, 73-61, in Horizon tourney opener--Cleveland Plain Dealer
CSU Basketball Notebook: Vikings Begin Journey Towards Horizon League Tournament Championship--Let's Go Vikes!
STO to Televise Cleveland Staet Vs Wright State Tournament Game--Let's Go Vikes!
Updated: Cleveland State Finishes the Season Against UIC--Vikings Ball
UIC vs Cleveland State: Recap Notes--Vikings Ball
Cleveland State Gets Win Over UIC, 73-61--Vikings Ball

Vikings Top UIC, 73-61, in First Round of Horizon League Championship
Vikings Face Wright State In Horizon League Championship

Vikings Host Loyola To Begin Final Week of Regular

Detroit Mercy 90, Loyola 69: Titans defense tough on Ramblers--The Detroit Free Press
Detroit Mercy enters March on upswing--The Detroit News
Detroit Mercy stops Loyola with big second half--The Detroit News
March Madness might finally have the whole state of Michigan dancing this spring--The Detroit News
Updated: Detroit Closes the Season Against Loyola (Chicago)--Titans Update
Loyola (Chicago) vs Detroit: Recap Notes--Titans Update
Detroit Gets Big Win Over Loyola (Chicago), 90-69--Titans Update
HL Tourney Play Begins Tonight at Home vs.
Titans Rout Loyola in Horizon League Tourney
Follow the Titans in the Horizon League
Travel with the Titans to Milwaukee!

Save the Dates! Basketball Postseason Banquets

Last Homestand Starts With Detroit Looking For Regular Season Sweep Over

UIC falls to Cleveland State--The Chicago Tribune
Loyola, UIC bounced out of Horizon tourney--The Chicago Sun-Times
UIC’s season ends with HL tourney loss: Links and notes--Fan the UIC Flames
UIC vs Cleveland State: Recap Notes--FLAME FANATIC
Cleveland State Too Much for UIC, 73-61--FLAME FANATIC
Postseason Blog: Follow the Flames LIVE at Cleveland
Flames Fall 73-61 at Cleveland State; Eliminated from Horizon League

Basketball: Women defeat, Men defeated--UIC Chicago Flame
Happy Hour with Moore, Ryckbosch Set for March

Women's Basketball Seniors Sent Off In

RPI WATCH: 3/2/2011Bring On The Cats

Finally, Loyola's season mercifully ended with a first-round ejection from the Horizon League postseason, while Savannah State improved its mood with another road win and Missouri let its NCAA seed slip with another road flop.

Detroit tops Loyola in Horizon tourney--The Chicago Tribune
Loyola (Chicago) vs Detroit: Recap Notes--LU WOLF BALL
Loyola (Chicago) Sinking After 90-69 Beatdown By Detroit--LU WOLF BALL
Detroit Proves Too Much For Loyola In 90-69 Loss In Horizon League First

Loyola Opens Final Regular Season Road Trip With Thursday Night Tilt At Cleveland

Women's basketball: Phoenix rises to 12th in ESPN/USA Today poll--Green Bay Press Gazette
Mike Vandermause column: UWGB women's basketball keeps getting better--Green Bay Press Gazette
Phoenix cruise past Crusaders for 13th consecutive title--UWGB Fourth Estate
Phoenix women win on emotional senior day--UWGB Fourth Estate
Tetschlag Named to Capital One Academic All America
Phoenix Fans Create Energetic Atmosphere on the
Horizon League Women's Basketball Championship
No. 15/12 Green Bay Starts Final Regular-Season Road Trip at Wright

Men's basketball: Wright State ends UWGB's season--Green Bay Press Gazette
Horizon League Tournament: Wright State 60, UWGB 50 FINAL--UWGB Basketball
On this day 9 years ago - Mar 01, 2002--Phoenix Fever
Green Bay vs Wright State: Recap Notes--Phoenix Fever
Wright State Gets Win Over Green Bay, 60-50--Phoenix Fever
Green Bay Falls at Wright State in First Round of Horizon League Tournament

UWM coach Jeter, point guard Williams find mutual trust--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Horizon League Power Rankings (February 22 – 28)--PantherU
And here…we…go--PantherU
Filling out my brackets--PantherU
Higher Seeds Win, Move On To Weekend Tournament Play In

2011 Horizon League WBB Championship: 256 simplified...--Panther Blog Zone
Panthers Hit Road To Close Out Regular

Crusaders survive, advance--The Post-Tribune
Youngstown State at Valparaiso, HL Tourney, March 1, Live Blog--Off The Mark
Valpo holds off pesky Penguins after building 19-point lead--The NWI Times
Valparaiso sophomore scores eight first-half points to help in 80-71 victory--The NWI Times
Live from the ARC: No. 4 Valparaiso vs. No. 9 Youngstown St.--Region Sports Extra
StatSheet Projects Valparaiso as NIT Seven Seed: 03/01/2011--Valpo Daily
Youngstown State vs Valparaiso: Recap Notes--Valpo Daily
UPDATED: Cameron Witt is questionable for Friday's Horizon Conference Tournament game against Detroit.--Valpo Daily
Valparaiso Beats Youngstown State, 80-71--Valpo Daily
Valpo Holds Off Penguins; Advances to HL

Donlon’s halftime message fuels WSU--Dayton Daily News
Flu keeps Donlon from afternoon shootaround--Dayton Daily News
Fine time for Battle to emerge--Dayton Daily News
Tabler’s experience, attitude key for WSU in league tournament--Dayton Daily News
WSU recruits open high school postseason tournaments this week--Wright State University Sports
Duggins leads WSU in physical first-round HL tournament victory--Wright State University Sports
WSU recruits score 23, 20 points in postseason wins Tuesday--Wright State University Sports
Raiders win in Horizon League tourney action--Fairborn Daily Herald
Men Pull Away for 60-50 Win Over Green Bay in Horizon League First
Wright State Closes Their 2010-2011 Campaign With Green Bay--Rowdy Review
Green Bay vs Wright State: Recap Notes--Rowdy Review
Wright State Beats Green Bay, 60-50--Rowdy Review
Raiders win ‘Battle’ over Green Bay--The Guardian
Men Pull Away for 60-50 Win Over Green Bay in Horizon League First

The Never-Been-To-The-NCAA-Tournament Club: Northwestern and our 51 best friends--Sippin' On Purple

7 p.m., Horizon League Tournament: No. 10 Youngstown State Penguins (9-21, 2-16, kenpom ranking 252) vs. No. 4 Valparaiso Crusaders (21-10, 12-6, kenpom ranking 104)

Our squad: Youngstown State

Youngstown State's chances today: 8.9 percent

Youngstown State's chances of winning the conference tourney: .01 percent. (Yes, .01. Thanks, kenpom.)

Something Youngstown State has going for them: The film "March of the Penguins" won the 2005 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. They also had a very improbable win against Butler and took Valpo to OT.

Some things Youngstown State does not have going for them: This game is on the road, at Valpo. Youngstown State's road record: 0-13. (In their defense, they were 9-8 at home. Not bad! They will not have any more home games this year.)

Reasons to irrationally hate Valparaiso: Everything about Bryce Drew. Coach's son, hit a huge game-winner yes, then parlayed that into a brief (and completely undeserved) NBA career and now a gig as an assistant coach for Valpo.

Cleveland State’s Cole is POY--Youngstown Vindicator
Like it or not, Slocum will return--Youngstown Vindicator
Penguins sidelined by Valparaiso in first round--Youngstown Vindicator
Updated: Youngstown State Finishes Their 2010-2011 Campaign With Valparaiso--Guin Report
Youngstown State vs Valparaiso: Recap Notes--Guin Report
Valparaiso Gets Win Over Youngstown State, 80-71--Guin Report
Beware the Ides of March--The Jambar
Eargle Scores 21 in Valiant Come-Back Attempt as Guins Fall to Valpo,

Inconsistency bothers coach--Youngstown Vindicator
Guins Open Final Home Week on Thursday vs.

Horizon League Men's Basketball Tournament Preview Show--Horizon League Network
Seeds Hold Serve in First Round of Horizon League Championship--Horizon League Network
Men's Basketball Championship Tips Off Tuesday Night--Horizon League Network

Tetschlag named to Capitol One Academic All-America Team--Horizon League Network

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