[Comment From drewsadersdrewsaders: ]
What do you think about Valpo's meltdown in three of their final four conference games? The two heartbreakers against the Wisconsin schools, and then a home beatdown at the hands of Loyola. One of those, and VU would be part of a four-way tie for first in the HL. What do you think of the Crusaders chances in the HL tourney, and non-NCAA postseason chances?
Friday March 4, 2011 4:15 drewsaders
I wouldn't call it a meltdown, I'd say that it's their primary weaknesses coming back to bite them. They don't have a lot of size, get beaten to rebounds all the time, and are vulnerable to teams with a lot of intensity. The Youngstown game really showed them back on their heels against a team that had nothing to lose. I don't think they make it through the weekend, but there will be a ghost bracket for them. They'll be better next year.
[Comment From Mike M.Mike M.: ]
There are certainly a number of different conference tourney formats these days. From the straight-up normal format at one neutral site like the Valley, to conferences that split their tourney over campus sites over several days (NEC/Patriot) to the new-fangled double-bye system that provides an ultra-reward for the top teams in a conference (Horizon/WCC). If you were a conference commish, how would you set up your conference tourney, assuming you wouldn't go the Ivy route and not have one.
Friday March 4, 2011 4:24 Mike M.
I love this discussion. The OVC changed from a split campus-site to a WCC-style staggered bracket this year, and it's been interesting to see the effect on the event. My personal preference is the opposite of that: the central site for the first few rounds, then the final at the highest remaining seed... like the America East does. It's the best of all three worlds: you get the alumni reception and everyone's fans in one building, you get the championship game in a packed arena, and you also get a true reward for the regular season champion: the opportunity to host that game.
[Comment From DwightDwight: ]
Kyle, did you see the Missouri State/Southern Illinois game? UN-BE-LIEVE-ABLE!!! As a Bears fan I'm glad the Bears won, but I'm also extremely disappointed in their performance. If they expect to win Arch Madness (the best conference tournament by the way) they can't show up in the last 1:30 of a game. That won't cut it against the other top teams.
Friday March 4, 2011 4:28 Dwight
I was stuck in various administrative and travel-related duties at the time, but I kept track. I'll second the selective effort thing, because I've seen it myself. They sent dopplegangers to that Valpo BracketBuster, and they did just enough to win when I saw them play Bradley. You have to be a really, really good team in order to get away with that, and they aren't at the level of the elite Valley teams of four or five years ago. I expect a lot of discussion about building an MVC contender through transfers whenever this is over..
Tourney Central 3/5/2011 (Day 5)--The Mid-Majority
 Cleveland State 73,  Wright State 59
Star of the Game: Norris Cole 15 Pts (4-10 FG, 6-6 FT), 6 Reb, 3 Stl
VIDEO: Behind the Scenes with Men's Basketball - The Cleveland State Vikings ran away late in the second half from the Wright State Raiders in the Quarterfinals of the Horizon League Tournament Friday night at the U.S. Cellular in Milwaukee. CSU won 73-59 to advance to the semifinals with the Butler Bulldogs Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. The game will be televised in ESPNU in tape delay. ... via Cleveland State
Men Pull Away for 60-50 Win Over Green Bay in Horizon League First Round - Vaughn Duggins scored 22 points to lead Wright State to a 60-50 victory over Wisconsin-Green Bay on Tuesday night in the first round of the Horizon League tournament. ... via Wright State
 Valparaiso 88,  Detroit 78
Star of the Game: Brandon Wood 30 Pts (11-22 FG, 1-1 FT)
Crusaders Into Semifinals Behind 30 From Wood - Valparaiso connected on a Horizon League Championship record 15 3-pointers, seven of which came in the final 20 minutes from Brandon Wood (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo [Highland C.C./Southern Illinois]), who scored 30 points in all as the Crusaders downed Detroit in quarterfinal action Friday night in Milwaukee, Wis., 88-78. Valpo plays at Milwaukee in the second semifinal Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ... via Valparaiso
On Tap Tonight
Tools: Standings • Statistics • Tempo-Free Aerial • 18-Year Tourney History
 Cleveland State at  Butler - 7:00 pm ET • BBState Preview/Box
CLST - 26-7 (13-5) RPI: 42 State: 45 SOS: 122 Last 10: 6-4 Form: LLWWW PF/PA: 71.8/63.4
BUTL - 21-9 (13-5) RPI: 45 State: 31 SOS: 79 Last 10: 7-3 Form: WWWWW PF/PA: 73.2/65.2
NCAA Selection Sheets: Cleveland State • Butler
Recent meetings: 02/05/2011 BUTL 73 @CLST 61 01/07/2011 CLST 56 @BUTL 79
Players to watch:
CLST - #30 Norris Cole Sr. G (21.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 5.4 apg)
BUTL - #54 Matt Howard Sr. F (16.8 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.4 apg)
Bulldogs Begin Horizon League Tournament Play - For the sixth straight year, Butler will begin Horizon League Men’s Basketball Championship play in the tournament semifinals. The Bulldogs will face the either Cleveland State or Wright State on Saturday, March 5, at 6 p.m. (ET) in the first tournament semifinal game at U. S. Cellular Arena in Milwaukee, Wis. Butler (21-9), the defending tournament champion, earned the No. 2 seed and a double-bye in this year’s tournament, after sharing the regular season crown with Milwaukee (18-12) and Cleveland State (25-7). Milwaukee took the No. 1 seed and the right to host the second round and semifinals, while Cleveland State received the No. 3 seed. Wright State (19-13) and Cleveland State will meet in the second round in Milwaukee on Friday, March 4. The other second round game will match Valparaiso (22-10) and Detroit (17-15), with the winner facing top-seeded Milwaukee in the semifinals. The title game of the 2011 Horizon League Men’s Basketball Championship will be played on Tuesday, March 8, at 9 p.m. (ET) at the highest remaining seed. ... via Butler
 Valparaiso at  Milwaukee - 8:30 pm ET • BBState Preview/Box
VALP - 23-10 (12-6) RPI: 71 State: 66 SOS: 118 Last 10: 7-3 Form: LLWWW PF/PA: 73.5/67.4
MILW - 18-12 (13-5) RPI: 99 State: 116 SOS: 121 Last 10: 9-1 Form: WWLWW PF/PA: 69.7/70.3
NCAA Selection Sheets: Valparaiso • Milwaukee
Recent meetings: 02/16/2011 VALP 76 @MILW 79 01/21/2011 MILW 43 @VALP 60
Players to watch:
VALP - #32 Brandon Wood Jr. G (16.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.3 apg)
MILW - #23 Anthony Hill Sr. F (15.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.4 apg)
Panthers Will Face Valpo In Semis Saturday After Crusaders Down Detroit - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's basketball team will face Valparaiso in a Horizon League Men's Basketball Tournament semifinal Saturday night at the U.S. Cellular Arena after the Crusaders knocked off Detroit in a second round game Friday. Brandon Wood scored 30 points to lead Valpo to an 88-78 win over Detroit. The Crusaders (23-10) made 15 three-pointers in the win, which saw them overcome an early eight-point deficit. ... via Milwaukee
That’s Debatable: Small Conference Tourneys--Rush The Court
Walker Carey, RTC contributor.
I think the Horizon League Tournament is the small conference tournament that is the most compelling in terms of creating chaos for the NCAA Selection Committee. In my mind, Butler, Cleveland State, and Milwaukee are the only teams that have the capability of winning the tournament. If Butler loses (which is very possible), it will be very interesting to see how the committee will view the Bulldogs’ resume. I tend to believe that Cleveland State will win the Horizon League championship because they have the best player in the league on their team in senior guard Norris Cole. I would enjoy to see the Vikings make a run to the Horizon League championship and shake things up in the tournament like they did when they were a #13 seed and upset #4 seed Wake Forest two seasons ago. With Cole, I think this is very possible for Gary Waters’ Cleveland State squad.
Saturday Preview: Duke-UNC leads rivalry weekend--Eye On College Basketball
Cleveland State @ Butler, 6:00 p.m., ESPNU: The Bulldogs haven't had to fight for their postseason lives like this in a while, so this becomes a huge game even though it's a Horizon League semifinal. It will be played at the beautiful and historic Hinkle Fieldhouse, and will feature big time talent Norris Cole on the visitor's side. Plenty of intrigue for a non-final.
Mid-Majors: Indiana State, Valparaiso Advance To Conference Tournament Semifinals--SB Nation Indiana
Championship Festival Go-Round: March 5, 2011--Blogging the Bracket
Horizon League Semifinals
Both games air on ESPNU.
No. 3 Cleveland St. Vikings vs. No. 2 Butler Bulldogs, 6 p.m. ET
No. 4 Valparaiso Crusaders vs, No. 1 Milwaukee Panthers, approx. 8:30 p.m. ET
The Vikings pulled away from Wright State late to set up a third meeting with Butler, a team they've lost to handily twice previously. Valpo did the same to Detroit in Friday's second quarterfinal, thanks to some late threes. The Crusaders will look to avenge a February 16th loss to the Panthers, part of a season-ending nine-game Horizon League win streak for Milwaukee.
NIT Bracketology - Bracket Predictor for the weekend--ChicagoNow.com
Utah Flash win eighth consecutive game--Deseret News
The streak was extended to eight games in front of Gordon Hayward, Ty Corbin of the Utah Jazz, and several members of the Sacramento Kings, including Flash guard Ryan Thompson's brother.
Jazz’s Evans has successful D-League debut--Salt Lake Tribune
Playing in front Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin and teammate Gordon Hayward, Evans’ night was highlighted by two spectacular dunks and bookend blocks on New Mexico’s first possession and his final defensive stand.
Butler's Vanzant prepares for career helping wayward youths--The Indy Star
Cleveland State next for Dawgs--Indy Star Butler Insider
Tim Kamczyc's timely buckets deflate Wright State's comeback attempt: Cleveland State Insider--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Cleveland State beats Wright State, plays Butler on Saturday--Cleveland Plain Dealer
On this day 10 years ago - Mar 04, 2001--Vikings Ball
Wright State vs Cleveland State: Recap Notes--Vikings Ball
Cleveland State Wins 73-59 Over Wright State--Vikings Ball
Vikings Pull Away Late In Win Over Wright State, 73-59--csuvikings.com
Vikings Play Butler in Horizon League Championship Semifinals--csuvikings.com
Valparaiso 88, Detroit Mercy 78: Titans fall in Horizon League tournament--The Detroit Free Press
Valpo ousts Detroit Mercy from Horizon League tournament--The Detroit News
On this day 10 years ago - Mar 04, 2001--Titans Update
Detroit vs Valparaiso: Recap Notes--Titans Update
Valparaiso Wins 88-78 Over Detroit--Titans Update
Titans Fall to Crusaders in HL Quarterfinals--detroittitans.com
UWGB women's basketball preview vs. Detroit--Green Bay Press Gazette
Panthers came together after loss to Valparaiso--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Valparaiso shoots into semifinals--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Crossroads: HLT Semifinals vs. Valparaiso--PantherU
Panthers Will Face Valpo In Semis Saturday After Crusaders Down Detroit--uwmpanthers.com
Live Blog: Milwaukee @ Wright State--Panther Blog Zone
Wood shoots down Titans--The Post-Tribune
Wounded Crusaders excited for rematch with Panthers--The Post-Tribune
Cole sparks Vikings in second half--The Post-Tribune
Horizon League Tournament quarterfinals, March 4, Live Blog--Off The Mark
Valparaiso 88, Detroit 78, HL Quarterfinals--Off The Mark
Wood lifts Crusaders into Horizon League men's basketball semifinals--The NWI Times
Crusaders set for rematch with Milwaukee--The NWI Times
Live from Milwaukee: No. 4 Valparaiso vs. No. 5 Detroit--Region Sports Extra
Detroit vs Valparaiso: Recap Notes--Valpo Daily
StatSheet Projects Valparaiso as NIT Six Seed: 03/05/2011--Valpo Daily
Valparaiso Gets 88-78 Win Over Detroit--Valpo Daily
Crusaders Into Semifinals Behind 30 From Wood--valpoathletics.com
Valpo Takes On Milwaukee Saturday for Title Game Berth--valpoathletics.com
Scouting Valparaiso University women's basketball--The NWI Times
Flu limits WSU’s Evans--Dayton Daily News
Loss to Cleveland State ends Raiders' season--Dayton Daily News
WSU blasted by dizzying stretch from Cole, Cleveland State in 73-59 season-ending loss--Wright State University Sports
WSU recruits continue advancing in state tournaments with Friday wins--Wright State University Sports
What’s your Wright State starting lineup to begin next season?--Wright State University Sports
On this day 8 years ago - Mar 04, 2003--Rowdy Review
Wright State vs Cleveland State: Recap Notes--Rowdy Review
Wright State Falls To Cleveland State, 73-59--Rowdy Review
Raiders Fall to Cleveland State in Horizon League Quarterfinals 73-59--wsuraiders.com
Vikings, Crusaders Headed to Semifinals After Friday Night Wins--Horizon League Network