Monmouth and Valparaiso both lost in their conference tourneys Monday night, and both now for the next six days are going to be subject of cheerleading for their causes and condescension from major school apologists who still do think they would’ve finished 12th in the Big Ten. The Hawks lost to red-hot Iona 79-76 in the Metro Atlantic final, while Valpo took a 99-92 loss to Wisconsin-Green Bay in the Horizon League semis.CBT Bracketology: Long wait ahead for Monmouth--CollegeBasketballTalk
Coupled with Wichita State, we already have a trio of schools from outside the major TV conferences that are hoping, praying that the selection committee will have compassion on them and understanding of circumstances that don’t work in their favor. We’ve already said our part on these teams-we believe their regular season conference titles should be significant chips in their favor-but in fact each is going to present a unique case.
Wichita State’s case essentially rests on mercy for losses that occurred without All-American point guard Fred VanVleet, as well as a reliance that the committee has become so attached to Ken Pomeroy’s ratings that it will refuse to leave out a team in the top 15 of that formula. For Monmouth, it’s a hope that glossy name wins, attempts to schedule anyone, anywhere out of conference and a glittery record against a schedule that included 23 of 34 games away from home is enough to survive a host of low-rated losses, even as some of them likely weren’t as bad as the numbers say (Army, for instance, was a more-than solid team at times this year). For Valpo, the hope is the committee understands the Crusaders tried darn hard to schedule tough out of conference, won handily at Oregon State and played better on the Oregon road trip than any Pac-12 team did, has weathered a ton of injuries and still passed the “eye test” most of the season.
In all of these teams’ cases, the request is that the committee evaluates them with perspective. If the committee is “considering” Syracuse’s record when Jim Boeheim was suspended as part of a probation, then it absolutely better heavily look at Wichita State losing VanVleet, Valparaiso’s nagging injuries all year and its attempts to schedule better, only to see Iona and Rhode Island hammered by injuries themselves, and Monmouth’s thorough attempt to play a tough schedule, only to see Georgetown and UCLA flop to a degree.
All three teams also played a lot more on the road than the Michigans and Oregon States of the world. It’s pointless to try to hold them to the same standards of schedule strength and sheer quantity of things like top 50 wins, when they aren’t playing by the same rules. They’re not allowed to.
The Horizon final will be Green Bay against Wright State after the 3 seed Raiders won the battle of tempo and beat second-seeded Oakland 59-55. Terrific bounce-back year for Billy Donlon’s team.
Championship games are on tap in the Horizon, Northeast, Summit and WCC. The NEC squares off the top two seeds with an all-Jersey matchup of Fairleigh Dickinson at Wagner (7 p.m. EST, ESPN2).
This year’s NCAA tournament bubble became that much more intriguing Monday night. If you love drama, it’s shaping up to be an intense week. In that past two days, we’ve seen Wichita State, Monmouth, and Valparaiso join the at-large pool as conference champions with legitimate at-large hopes. That’s three additional resumes for the Selection Committee to review, dissect, and compare at their bunker in downtown Indianapolis. How it all shakes out by Sunday afternoon is unknown. What we do know is that it’s going to be a long wait for Monmouth, one of this year’s most talked-about teams.Play-by-play announcer ejected during Horizon League tournament--The Sporting News
We touched on Wichita State yesterday; the Shockers are hoping a dominant run through the Missouri Valley, combined with a strong non-conference SOS and a win over Utah will hold up. Valparaiso has a win at Oregon State, but probably needs a little more help.
St. Louis Raleigh 7) Colorado 7) Texas Tech 10) Cincinnati 10) Vanderbilt 2) Michigan State 2) North Carolina 15) Wright State 15) UNC-ASHEVILLE...
Next four teams OUT (at large): Michigan, Valparaiso, Florida State, Houston
Green Bay beats top-seeded Valparaiso 99-92 in OT--CBS Sports
Wright State beats Oakland 59-55 in Horizon League semis--CBS Sports
Green Bay beats Wright State 78-69 in Horizon final--CBS Sports
Horizon League Semifinals Recap--Mid-Major Madness
Madness Watch: Horizon, NEC, and WCC hold championships tonight--Mid-Major Madness
On The Menu: Monday, March 7, 2016--Blogging the Bracket
Horizon SemifinalsOn The Menu: Tuesday, March 8, 2016--Blogging the Bracket
ESPNU will air both games.
Game 7: No. 4 Green Bay Phoenix (21-12, 11-7) vs. No. 1 Valparaiso Crusaders (26-5, 16-2), 7 p.m.
The Crusaders swept the season series, including a 70-68 win at Green Bay on February 28th.
Game 8: No. 3 Wright State Raiders (21-12, 13-5) vs. No. 2 Oakland Golden Grizzlies (21-10, 13-5), approx. 9:30 p.m.
The Golden Grizzlies swept the season series.
The first two days of the Horizon League Tournament were chalkier than antacid from the 80s, with no game closer than Green Bay's nine-point win over in-state rival Milwaukee Panthers in yesterday's quarterfinals. We might be in for more of the same tonight in Detroit, although the Phoenix will have to fancy their chances against a Valpo team they tested just a little more than a week ago. Game two is even more intriguing, as the Raiders are the biggest threat to the Crusaders in the field, thanks to the season sweep they own. However, to get a chance at a third win over the regular season champs, Wright State has to face its own kryptonite, Oakland, tonight.
Horizon League ChampionshipGreen Bay 78, Wright State 69: Phoenix wins Horizon, earns NCAA bid--The Detroit Free Press
Game 9: No. 4 Green Bay Phoenix (22-12, 11-7) vs. No. 3 Wright State Raiders (22-12, 13-5), 7 p.m. (ESPN)
The pair split their season series with each winning at home.
After a Saturday and Sunday full of chalk, the Raiders and Phoenix broke out the erasers on Monday night. First, Green Bay knocked regular season champ Valparaiso Crusaders to the bubble after an overtime thriller. Then, Wright State defeated Kay Felder and Oakland Golden Grizzlies for the first time this season to book their own finals place.
The Raiders made their last tournament appearance in 2007, while the Phoenix haven't been since 1996.
Motor City Madness: No. 3 Green Bay stuns defending champ and top-seeded Valpo in semifinal--Press Row Sports
Green Bay defeats Wright State in Horizon League finals--The Catch and Shoot
Spartans' Bryn Forbes named Big Ten player of the week--The Detroit Free Press
Forbes, Grady, Lewis win on new teams--The Cauldron
A Look at the Week Ahead in Cleveland State Athletics--NEO Sports Insiders
Abshaw Picks Up Second Straight Freshman Of The Week Honor--csuvikings.com
Smith Named To Horizon League All-Defensive Team--csuvikings.com
Abshaw Named Horizon League Freshman Of The Year--csuvikings.com
Vikings Set For 2016 Horizon League Tournament--csuvikings.com
Women's Basketball Assists With Water Crisis in Flint--detroittitans.com
Cohen, Reynolds Earn Horizon League Postseason Honors--detroittitans.com
NBCSports.com Postseason Awards: Player of the Year, Coach of the Year and All-Americans--CollegeBasketballTalk
THIRD TEAM ALL-AMERICAWright St. 59, Oakland 55: Grizzlies bow out of Horizon tournament--The Detroit Free Press
Kay Felder, Oakland: We’re going with Felder over Kris Dunn because Felder (24.3 points, 9.3 assists) had an unbelievable year while Dunn and the Friars totally faded down the stretch. And this is coming from Dunn’s biggest fan.
Oakland guard Max Hooper's exhausting day ends with disappointing loss--The Detroit Free Press
Missed shots late cost Oakland in semifinal loss--The Detroit News
Niyo: Oakland’s Hooper just keeps playing through the pain--The Detroit News
Oakland falls to Wright State in Horizon League tourney semifinals--The Oakland Press
Sunset on Horizon League Championship: Wright State chokes Oakland--Oakland Post
Wright State beats Oakland 59-55 in Horizon League semis--ougrizzlies.com
Postseason heartbreak in Detroit--ougrizzlies.com
Women’s basketball – Elena Popkey--ougrizzlies.com
NASH AND JONES EARN ALL-LEAGUE HONORS--ougrizzlies.com
Flames end season in first round of tournament--UIC News
Ruvanna Campbell Selected to All-Horizon League First Team--uicflames.com
VIDEO: Official Pat Adams ejects a play-by-play announcer during a game--CollegeBasketballTalk
Ticket punched: Green Bay starters lead way to Horizon League title--The Dagger
Tiny Dancers: Green Bay sprints its way to NCAA Tournament berth--CBS Sports
VIDEO: Green Bay’s Cooper throws down tomahawk dunk in Horizon League finals--The Catch and Shoot
UWGB men one win away from NCAAs--Green Bay Press Gazette
How UWGB men, Wright State match up--Green Bay Press Gazette
UWGB men earn bid to NCAA tournament--Green Bay Press Gazette
Listen as UWGB announcer ejected from game--Green Bay Press Gazette
Lew Wallace product going dancing as Phoenix win Horizon title--The NWI Times
Green Bay Survives Valpo in OT, Advances to Tournament Championship--GreenBayPhoenix.com
20 Years Coming: Green Bay Downs Wright State in Title Game--GreenBayPhoenix.com
Lukan named Horizon defensive player of year--Green Bay Press Gazette
Lukan, Kraker, Lindstrom Tabbed to All-Horizon League Teams--GreenBayPhoenix.com
HoriZone Roundtable Season 1 Episode 10: #MotorCityMadness--PantherU
Rechlicz and Kostowicz Collect League Hardware--UWM Post
Lindner Lands Player Of The Week Honors--uwmpanthers.com
Postseason Awards Roll In For Milwaukee--uwmpanthers.com
VIDEO: Valpo with an incredible full-court pass to force overtime--CollegeBasketballTalk
Bubble/Bracket Watch: Monmouth, Wichita State appear NIT-bound--Sports Illustrated
Valparaiso CrusadersBubble Tracker: Who's in, who's out of the NCAA tournament?--USA Today
26–5, 16–2 Horizon League
RPI: 39, SOS: 170, kenpom.com: 38
Current Bracket Watch status: Out
Valparaiso isn’t quite in the class of Monmouth or Wichita State. Unlike the Hawks, the Crusaders didn’t post multiple strong victories, with their best win—the only one against a team with at-large chops—coming at Oregon State. And unlike the Shockers, Valpo didn’t take care of the opponents it was supposed to, losing four times to teams with RPIs of 140 or worse. The Crusaders were undoubtedly the best team in the Horizon League, but their overtime loss to UW-Green Bay in the conference tournament semifinals has them ticketed for the NIT.
► Bubble: Monmouth, Wichita State, San Diego State, Valparaiso, St. Mary’s, Gonzaga, Little RockBracketology: How Monmouth, Valparaiso and Wichita State stack up for at-large bids--SBNation.com
Valparaiso: 24-5 (16-2), 39 RPI, 170 SoS, 48 non-conference SoS
The Good: Win vs. Oregon State
The Bad: Losses vs. Wright State (twice), Ball State
Bracket Update: Long wait ahead for Monmouth--Bracketville
We touched on Wichita State yesterday; the Shockers are hoping a dominant run through the Missouri Valley, combined with a strong non-conference SOS and a win over Utah will hold up. Valparaiso has a win at Oregon State, but probably needs a little more help.Valparaiso stunned in Horizon League semifinals by Green Bay in OT--The Post-Tribune
Given the results of the past two days, there should be an even greater sense of urgency for those along the cutline. If Wichita State and Monmouth both end up earning bids, there are two less slots available.
Valparaiso makes case for NCAA Tournament berth, but braces for NIT--The Post-Tribune
UPDATED: Crusaders fall short at Horizon League tourney in overtime to Green Bay--The NWI Times
Horizon League happy with move to Detroit--The NWI Times
Odds appear slim for Valparaiso to earn an at-large berth--The NWI Times
Crusaders Fall in Heartbreaker to Green Bay in HL Semifinal--valpoathletics.com
Peters Earns USBWA All-District Honor--valpoathletics.com
Peters Repeats on All-Tournament Team--valpoathletics.com
Hamlet Honored as Horizon League Unveils Postseason Awards--valpoathletics.com
Roush, Glick claim #HLWBB postseason honors--nkunorse.com
Wright State coach Billy Donlon regrets airing grievances at presser--Dayton Daily News
5 things to know about tonight’s Wright State-Oakland game--Dayton Daily News
Wright State Extra: Thomasson key despite being blanked--Dayton Daily News
Wright State upsets Oakland to reach Horizon League title game--Dayton Daily News
Wright State Extra: Mortensen picks up where he left off in practice--Dayton Daily News
Tom Archdeacon: Donlon vows to bring Raiders a championship--Dayton Daily News
Wright State falls in Horizon League championship game--Dayton Daily News
Raiders men defeat Oakland for a trip to the Finals--The Guardian
Raiders men fall to Green Bay in the Finals--The Guardian
Men Advance to HL Finals With Upset of Oakland--wsuraiders.com
Men Fall to Green Bay in HL Championship Game--wsuraiders.com
Demmings Player of the Year, Two Other Raiders Honored--wsuraiders.com--wsuraiders.com
WILAJ: Slocum deserves another contract--Youngstown Vindicator
YSU hopes to revert to good--Youngstown Vindicator
Women’s Basketball Faces Oakland in the HL Tournament--The Jambar
Cash Named Second Team All-Horizon League--ysusports.com
Green Bay, Wright State Upset Top Seeds to Reach Championship--Horizon League Network
Green Bay Captures #MotorCityMadness Crown--Horizon League Network
Milwaukee's Lindner and Cleveland State's Abshaw Collect Weekly Honors--Horizon League Network
2016 Women's Basketball Postseason Awards--Horizon League Network