Wednesday, February 15, 2012

News On The Horizon 2/15/2012

Almost gave another one away!--The Mid-Majority
Tuesday's Pregame Beat: Two big bubble games and a CAA showdown--Ballin' is a Habit

8:00 pm: Cleveland State @ Milwaukee and Illinois-Chicago @ Valpo: Valpo may own a half-game advantage in the Horizon standings -- as well as the tiebreaker thanks to a season sweep of the Vikings -- but Cleveland State is still sitting tied with the Crusaders in the loss column. Neither look to be headed for an at-large bid, but, as always, seeding in the Horizon League Tournament is so important.

Butler’s slowly creeping up on that Horizon League lead--Beyond The Arc
The Final Stretch: Title race reset--Eye On College Basketball

Over the weekend, we finally got our first guaranteed postseason team, as UNC-Asheville clinched the Big South regular-season title. Asheville’s win over Radford, combined with a third straight loss from Coastal Carolina, gave the Bulldogs an insurmountable lead at the top of the standings. They are now guaranteed at least a berth in the NIT. So far, UNCA is the only team to clinch a title – where do the rest of the leagues stand?
Horizon: Things are heating up here. Cleveland State had the lead, but has since lost two in a row, letting Valparaiso take over first place by a half-game. The two teams are tied in the loss column with three/four games left.

Horizon League Update: Butler, Valparaiso Are Big Tuesday Winners--SB Nation Indiana

Utah Jazz muster lackluster effort in 'Nawlins'--Deseret News

Starter Gordon Hayward joined subs Watson, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter and Alec Burks with eight minutes remaining and Utah down by 17, and that group erased all but three points off of the Hornets' lead.

Corbin said he doesn't intend to make lineup changes after this dud, and one of his starters didn't blame him for letting the majority of the main guys finish out the game on the bench.

"I would've done the same thing the way we started the third quarter," Jefferson said. "I would've done the same thing."

Utah Jazz-Oklahoma City Thunder: Report card--Deseret News

Forwards: Gordon Hayward turned in perhaps his worst performance of the season – and one of the worst of his young career – in shooting 0-6 from the field with three turnovers in just 16 minutes. His backup, Josh Howard, played longer, shooting 3-10 with five rebounds in 19 minutes. Paul Millsap was so-so, scoring 10 points and grabbing eight rebounds. However, the Utah forwards were thoroughly dominated by the Thunder forwards. Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka combined for 37 points on 15-22 shooting with 16 rebounds. GRADE: D

Tyrone Corbin plans to make time for rookie Alec Burks--Salt Lake Tribune

Corbin turned to Burks after watching a lifeless Jazz team fall behind by 20 late in the third quarter to the lowly Hornets. By the time Burks’ run was over, he’d attempted more free throws than Utah’s five starters combined and teamed with fellow youngsters Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter to nearly unearth a win.

Jazz search for answers after 111-85 blowout by Thunder--Salt Lake Tribune

Oklahoma City • By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, no one moved. Al Jefferson never got off the bench. Neither did Devin Harris, Raja Bell, Gordon Hayward or Paul Millsap. The Jazz’s five starters were stuck to their seats Tuesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena, silently staring and helplessly watching as the NBA’s best team blitzed away at will, hammering home shots and shredding Utah apart.
Given the opportunity to pin the Jazz’s problems on tired legs, players such as Harris, Hayward and reserve forward C.J. Miles declined. Miles pointed out that, thanks to his team not showing up Monday against the Hornets, Corbin pulled Utah’s starters late in the third and kept everyone but Hayward on the bench throughout the fourth. Thus, by the time all five Jazz starters were kept on the bench during the entire final period against OKC, it was clear Utah’s problems had everything to do with self-created issues and little to do with being road weary.

Loyola Vs. Butler Final Score: Bulldogs Hold On To Win 63-57--SB Nation Indiana
Indiana College Basketball Bracketology: Welcome Back, Butler?--SB Nation Indiana
Butler downs Loyola for third straight victory--The Indy Star
Butler takes down Loyola for 3rd win in a row--The Indy Star
Butler, believe it or not, is in the race--Indy Star Butler Insider
Breaking down stretch run of Horizon race--Victory Firelight
Butler Gets 63-57 Win Over Loyola (Chicago)--Butler Blue Fever
StatSheet Projects Butler as CIT Team: 02/15/2012--Butler Blue Fever
Men’s basketball: Team getting hot late in season
Butler Holds Off Loyola, Collegian

Blue II busy but thriving--Butler Collegian
Academics at forefront of athletics--Butler Collegian

Women’s basketball: Valparaiso takes rare win at Hinkle Fieldhouse--Butler Collegian

Miami Heat’s LeBron James setting tone down low--Miami Herald

Lots of support

James’ return to Cleveland on Friday figures to draw plenty of attention. But he won’t be the only Heat player returning home.

Rookie Norris Cole, who played at Cleveland State, said he’ll have a large group of supporters in the stands when the Heat takes on the Cavaliers. Cole, whose family is from Dayton, Ohio, had more than 60 family members at Tuesday’s game against the Pacers.

“I’ve been geeked up all day to see them — haven’t seen them in a while,” Cole said before Tuesday night’s game. “I’m going to get to see my mom tonight. That’s going to be the best [Valentine’s] gift of all.”

Miami Heat routs Indiana Pacers, sweeps road back-to-back-to-back set--Miami Herald

Indiana trailed 97-71 with 5:33 to play when Chris Bosh went to the bench. The Pacers then rallied against the Heat’s bench, which provided 42 points, including a career-high 20 from Norris Cole.

Heat make it 3 blowout wins in 3 nights, pummel Pacers 105-90--South Florida Sun Sentinel

Chalmers and Spoelstra both said Chalmers could have returned if needed and is expected to be available for Friday's conclusion of this six-game trip against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Given the opportunity to step in for Chalmers, rookie point guard Norris Cole closed with a career-high 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting.

Cleveland State's comeback fails with 00.1 left as Milwaukee wins, 86-84--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Waters: 'Fate is biting at our heels'--The Cauldron
Cleveland State Edged By Milwaukee, 86-84--Vikings Ball
StatSheet Projects Cleveland State as NIT Eight Seed: 02/15/2012--Vikings Ball
Harmon Scores Career-High 27, But CSU Falls at Milwaukee,

Vikings Host Green Bay At 7:00 p.m.

Detroit (15-12) Takes On Wright State (12-15)--Titans Update
Senior day marks the end of an enjoyable career--Varsity Press
Don't get carried away with regular season wins--Varsity Press
Stretch Run Sees Detroit Play Final Three League Games on

Valparaiso defeats UIC 74-65--Daily Herald
UIC Sinking After 74-65 Loss To Valparaiso--Flame Fanatic
First-Place Valparaiso Outlasts Men's Basketball,

Loyola falls at Butler 63-57--Daily Herald
Staring at victory: Ramblers finally grab first Horizon League win of season against UIC--Loyola Phoenix
Junior Cully Payne talks current basketball season, plans for future--Loyola Phoenix
Butler Beats Loyola (Chicago), 63-57--LU Wolf Ball
Averkamp Scores 23 Points, But Loyola Falls At Butler,

Men's basketball: Sykes takes over down the stretch as UWGB beats Youngstown State--Green Bay Press Gazette
Game #24: UWGB vs. Youngstown State--UWGB Basketball
On this day 7 years ago - Feb 14, 2005--Phoenix Fever
Green Bay Beats Youngstown State, 71-65--Phoenix Fever
Green Bay Seeks Revenge to Start
Double-Doubles Spark Phoenix Win Over YSU,

Watch: Inside Phoenix Basketball: Feb.

Questionable call keys Panthers victory--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Grit, determination, and a record--PantherU
On this day 10 years ago - Feb 14, 2002--UWM Update
Milwaukee Survives Against Cleveland State, 86-84--UWM Update
Meier's Free Throws Send Panthers To Key Win Over

Panthers Continue League Slate With Ohio Road

15 Coaches who deserve to be their conference's COTY--Run The Floor

Horizon League: Bryce Drew, Valparaiso

To this day I get Google Alerts from sportswriters' ledes that involve Bryce Drew, last-second-shot-sensation, on top of the ones I actually want to read regarding Bryce Drew, first-year head coach. But certainly the latter is beginning to far outweigh the former as the heir to the Valparaiso crown is showing he has the feet that can fill his fathers' big shoes.

The Crusaders were chosen fifth in the Horizon League's own preseason poll after losing three starters, including Brandon Wood who left for Michigan State. Now VU sits at the top of the league standings after handing Cleveland State a crushing loss that saw the Vikings score a season-worst 0.67 ppp. I could write about Valpo forever.

p.s. Andy Katz agrees.

VU inches closer to title--The Post-Tribune
UIC at Valparaiso, Feb. 14, Live Blog--Off The Mark
Crusaders inch closer to Horizon League men's basketball title--The NWI Times
VIDEO: Valparaiso Men's Basketball Coach Post-Game Interview--The NWI Times
Live from the ARC: Valparaiso vs. UIC (MBB)--Inside VU Sports
Brandon Wood is impacting Michigan State's game on defense--The Detroit Free Press
Valparaiso Beats UIC, 74-65--Valpo Daily
Long-Range Barrage Keeps Crusaders Atop

Lone senior has adapted to Raiders--Dayton Daily News
Preview: Detroit vs. Wright State--Dayton Daily News
Wright State (12-15) Faces Detroit (15-12)--Rowdy Review

Basketball Teams to Host

On this day 5 years ago - Feb 14, 2007--Guin Report
Green Bay Wins 71-65 Over Youngstown State--Guin Report
Green Bay Holds Off Youngstown State,

Divided Attention Guaranteed with Key Men's Basketball Games on Valentine's Day--Horizon League Network
Wild Night Sees Separation at Top, Middle Drawn Tighter--Horizon League Network

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