Wednesday, March 9, 2016

News On The Horizon 3/8/2016

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, March 8, 2016--Hoopville
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.

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.
Side Dishes
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.
Today’s Menu:

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).
CBT Bracketology: Long wait ahead for Monmouth--CollegeBasketballTalk
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.

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
Play-by-play announcer ejected during Horizon League tournament--The Sporting News
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 Semifinals

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.
On The Menu: Tuesday, March 8, 2016--Blogging the Bracket
Horizon League Championship

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.
Green Bay 78, Wright State 69: Phoenix wins Horizon, earns NCAA bid--The Detroit Free Press
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
Smith Named To Horizon League All-Defensive
Abshaw Named Horizon League Freshman Of The
Vikings Set For 2016 Horizon League

Women's Basketball Assists With Water Crisis in
Cohen, Reynolds Earn Horizon League Postseason Postseason Awards: Player of the Year, Coach of the Year and All-Americans--CollegeBasketballTalk

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.
Wright St. 59, Oakland 55: Grizzlies bow out of Horizon tournament--The Detroit Free Press
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
Postseason heartbreak in

Women’s basketball – Elena

Flames end season in first round of tournament--UIC News

Ruvanna Campbell Selected to All-Horizon League First

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
20 Years Coming: Green Bay Downs Wright State in Title

Lukan named Horizon defensive player of year--Green Bay Press Gazette
Lukan, Kraker, Lindstrom Tabbed to All-Horizon League

HoriZone Roundtable Season 1 Episode 10: #MotorCityMadness--PantherU

Rechlicz and Kostowicz Collect League Hardware--UWM Post
Lindner Lands Player Of The Week
Postseason Awards Roll In For

VIDEO: Valpo with an incredible full-court pass to force overtime--CollegeBasketballTalk
Bubble/Bracket Watch: Monmouth, Wichita State appear NIT-bound--Sports Illustrated
Valparaiso Crusaders

26–5, 16–2 Horizon League
RPI: 39, SOS: 170, 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 Tracker: Who's in, who's out of the NCAA tournament?--USA Today
► Bubble: Monmouth, Wichita State, San Diego State, Valparaiso, St. Mary’s, Gonzaga, Little Rock
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
Bracketology: How Monmouth, Valparaiso and Wichita State stack up for at-large
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.

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 stunned in Horizon League semifinals by Green Bay in OT--The Post-Tribune
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
Peters Earns USBWA All-District
Peters Repeats on All-Tournament

Hamlet Honored as Horizon League Unveils Postseason
Roush, Glick claim #HLWBB postseason

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
Men Fall to Green Bay in HL Championship

Demmings Player of the Year, Two Other Raiders

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

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

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