ATB: Terps Dump Duke, Cowboys Edge OU in OT and Kentucky Fails First Post-Noel Test…--Rush The Court
This Weekend’s Quick Hits…
A Reinvigorated Horizon Race. Just this week, it appeared Valparaiso had the Horizon league under control. The Crusaders took care of Wright State on the road, held a two-game lead on Detroit in the loss column (plus the head-to-head advantage) and could basically plan on wrapping things up with a home win over the Titans on Saturday. Detroit erased any faint hope of an easy ride to the finish line by beating Valpo on the road and moving within a half game of first place. Here’s where things get interesting. The Crusaders have three conference games remaining (Loyola, Youngstown State and Green Bay) against Detroit’s two (Loyola, UIC). Any slip-up from either side could be lethal. Presuming these teams finish first and second in the league standings, the chances they meet in a winner-takes-all conference tourney final are very real.
Cleveland State Vikings get offense untracked in 88-67 win over Milwaukee--Cleveland Plain Dealer
BracketBusters Week--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Perhaps no local team needs a breather from conference play more than Cleveland State (13-15, 5-9 Horizon League). But the Vikings still have a home league game to play against Wright State on Wednesday before traveling to Western Illinois (19-6). The surprising Leathernecks currently stand second in the Summit League, while CSU languishes in seventh in the HL.Cleveland State 88, Milwaukee 67--Cleveland State Hoops
Akron's BracketBusters matchup with North Dakota State (20-7, RPI 77) has lost what little luster it had as NDSU has gone south in recent weeks, losing four of its past eight games to sit third in the Summit League. The Bison are without 6-7 swingman and leading scorer Taylor Braun (15.2 points per game) due to a broken foot.
Friday's 7 p.m. contest at Rhodes Arena now takes on the appearance of a nationally televised trap game, as the Zips (21-4, RPI 48) will put their 17-game winning streak on the line. They have little to gain, even with a win, while a loss would be stinging to both their RPI and national prestige.
For Kent, the BracketBusters might be just what the Flashes need to set up a strong stretch run. Despite its late-game troubles, the Golden Flashes (14-12) still have a winning record and, based on their performances to date against the three top teams in the MAC, must be considered a conference tournament threat, particularly if they can earn a bye to the quarterfinals.
Kent will follow a BracketBusters road game Saturday at Loyola-Chicago (14-12) with its final four MAC games (two at home) to close out the season.
Cleveland State Beats Up Milwaukee 88-67--Vikings Ball
Vikings Race Past Milwaukee, 88-67--csuvikings.com
Morning Five: 02.18.13 Edition--Rush The Court
It seems like we talk about conference realignment and the Catholic 7 too frequently in this section, but John Feinstein’s article detailing the Catholic 7′s expansion plan is one of the better inside looks we have read. Outside of the usual posturing about the relative strength of various conferences Feinstein points out why if the conference decides to stay completely “Catholic” it would mean going from adding Butler to adding Detroit and why Creighton is not even in the discussion at this point. There are also a few interesting notes on the leadership of the budding conference, which may be of interest to those of you into the behind the scenes action that is going on before the conference officially forms.
Green Bay Clobbers Youngstown State 71-54--Phoenix Fever
Defense, Rebounding Get Green Bay Third-Straight Road Win--GreenBayPhoenix.com
Panthers can't cool Vikings--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Milwaukee Trounced by Cleveland State 88-67--UWM Update
Vikings Use Big Second-Half Run To Trip Panthers--uwmpanthers.com
Postgame Report: Milwaukee vs. Cleveland State--Panther Blog Zone
Undersized YSU falls to Green Bay--Youngstown Vindicator
Youngstown State Punished by Green Bay 71-54--Guin Report
Penguins Never Get On Track in Loss to Green Bay--ysusports.com
Men's Basketball Final Shot: Feb. 17 - Wins at a Premium--Horizon League Network