Today’s Menu: A light schedule includes just 10 games as most conferences take a couple days before their tourneysLow- and mid-majors still in spotlight as NCAA tourney nears--USA Today
Four conference championships will be decided, and all three should be excellent. Valparaiso and Wisconsin-Green Bay meet in the Horizon League final (7 p.m. EST, ESPN), which features the top two seeds. Green Bay is looking to avenge last year’s missing out on a bid and searches for its first bid in 19 years. Valpo will host as the highest seed left.
The real spotlight still belongs to the low- and mid-majors.Tuesday's Viewer's Guide: Four bids to hand out, including Zags-BYU--Eye On College Basketball
After all, the first-round ACC matchups of Georgia Tech-Boston College and Virginia Tech-Wake Forest amount to four teams that are a combined 28 games below .500, fighting merely for the right to face North Carolina and Miami, respectively. Each winner would still need to win four more games to earn an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.
Impossible? Nope. Unlikely? You bet.
So you might as well keep an eye some lower-profile leagues that have high hopes of their champions busting some brackets. St. Francis and Robert Morris will be fighting for the Northeast Conference title, and Green Bay and Valparaiso will be facing off for the Horizon League.
That would be the same Robert Morris that nearly took down Villanova a handful of years ago, and the same Valpo whose coach, Bryce Drew, is part of NCAA tournament lore.
SO ABOUT THAT BUBBLE: Valpo can take the drama out of Selection Sunday by beating Green Bay, but the Crusaders would still have hope of making the NCAA tournament as an at-large selection with a loss. They are 27-5 with a blowout win over fellow bubble team Murray State, though losses to Missouri and New Mexico won't help their cause.
Horizon Championship: Green Bay vs. Valparaiso (-2.5); 7 ET, ESPN: This is the matchup that everyone was hoping for, and no matter the winner it will produce a team capable of winning at least one game in the NCAA Tournament. Green Bay has Keifer Sykes, one of the best guards in the country. Valparaiso -- led by Big Dance legend Bryce Drew -- has Alec Peters and Darien Walker, each of whom will be there for at least the next two years. The two teams split their opening round games in one and four-point contests, so expect a close, low-scoring game here.Horizon League Finals Preview: Prepare for a Battle Between Valparaiso and Green Bay--Mid-Major Madness
Cleveland State senior Cori Coleman named to All-Horizon League first team--Cleveland Plain Dealer
March Madness Begins Wednesday At Youngstown State--detroittitans.com
Oakland basketball to play in CIT, will host first game--The Detroit Free Press
Oakland men accept invitation to play in CIT--The Detroit News
Oakland accepts invite to CollegeInsider.com tournament--The Oakland Press
Oakland to host first-round CIT Tournament game on St. Patrick’s Day--Press Row Sports
RUSSELL NAMED TO HORIZON LEAGUE ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM--ougrizzlies.com
Illinois-Chicago announces they will be parting ways with Howard Moore--CollegeBasketballTalk
UIC fires coach Howard Moore--CBS Sports
UIC fires head coach Howard Moore--The Catch and Shoot
Magic runs out--Whoosh!Net
Moore Will Not Return as UIC Head Men's Basketball Coach--uicflames.com
No. 6 UIC at No. 3 Cleveland State Wednesday for HL Quarterfinals--uicflames.com
Sykes, Phoenix know the stakes vs. Valparaiso--Green Bay Press Gazette
UWGB men vs. Valparaiso: What to watch for--Green Bay Press Gazette
The Bar West to Host Men's Basketball Viewing Party on Tuesday--GreenBayPhoenix.com
Green Bay to Play at Valpo for Horizon League Title--GreenBayPhoenix.com
Phoenix women stay focused on team goals--Green Bay Press Gazette
Panthers advance in Horizon League tournament--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Kostowicz Closes Regular Season With League Honors--uwmpanthers.com
Panthers Open Postseason With Convincing Victory--uwmpanthers.com
Valparaiso plays Green Bay for Horizon League title, NCAA tourney berth--The Post-Tribune
Crusaders will likely be without Tevonn Walker for Horizon League title game--The NWI Times
Valpo Basketball Preview--valpoathletics.com
Valpo To Square Off With Green Bay For Title Tuesday Night--valpoathletics.com
Crusaders blow halftime lead in season-ending loss at women's tournament--The NWI Times
Strong Second Half Boosts Milwaukee Past Valpo--valpoathletics.com
WSU’s Mingo, Bradbury win HL top honors--Dayton Daily News
Women’s basketball: Mingo, Bradbury honored--The Guardian
Mingo Named Horizon League Player of the Week--wsuraiders.com
Men's Basketball Accepting Summer Camp Registrations--ysusports.com
DiGregorio’s offer changed Bowers’ life--Youngstown Vindicator
Horizon tabs two Penguin women--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
Penguins Try to Defend Home Court vs. Detroit in Quarterfinals--ysusports.com
Wright State's Mingo and Milwaukee's Kostowicz Garner Weekly Honors--Horizon League Network
No. 8 Milwaukee Advances to #HLWBB Quarterfinals--Horizon League Network