HORIZON LEAGUE CBB CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT PREVIEW 2012
The Horizon League Men’s College Basketball Tournament is set and will begin on Tuesday February 28. Valparaiso finished with a 21-10 overall record and a 14-4 record in the Conference to finish 1st in the regular season. Cleveland State earned the 2nd seed and a bye into the semi-finals. The Horizon League tournament is a little different from other tournaments as the Top 2 seeds advance automatically into the semi-finals.
Detroit, Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Butler all tied for 3rd with 11-7 conference records with Detroit getting the #3 seed due to a 3-1 record against Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Butler. Wisconsin-Milwaukee will grab the #4 seed and Butler sits in the #5 seed which is their worst seeding since 2005.
Youngstown State and Wisconsin Green Bay finished at 10-8 in the conference and will be seeded #6 and #7 respectively and will meet in the 1st round on Tuesday. This is the first time in the 33 year history of the Horizon Conference that seven teams have finished with 10 wins or more in conference play.
Here is a view of the upcoming tournament schedule:
2012 Horizon League Men’s Basketball Championship:
First Round - Tuesday, Feb. 28 (campus sites)
Game 1: (10) Loyola at (3) Detroit, 7 p.m. ET
Game 2: (7) Green Bay at (6) Youngstown State, 7:05 p.m. ET
Game 3: (9) UIC at (4) Milwaukee, 8 p.m. ET
Game 4: (8) Wright State at (5) Butler, 7 p.m. ET
Second Round - Friday, March 2 (Valparaiso)
Game 5: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 6 p.m. ET (Horizon League Network | ESPN3)
Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 8:30 p.m. ET (Horizon League Network | ESPN3)
Semifinals - Saturday, March 3 (Valparaiso)
Game 7: Game 5 winner vs. (2) Cleveland State, 6 p.m. ET (ESPNU - tape delayed at 10:30 p.m. ET; live on ESPN3)
Game 8: Game 6 winner at (1) Valparaiso, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Championship - Tuesday, March 6 (highest remaining seed)
Game 9: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner
Let’s take a look at the Rocketman Power Ratings for the Horizon League. My ratings differ from the seedings so we’ll look to take advantage of some soft lines here.
1. Cleveland State 78.32
2. Butler 77.45
3. Valparaiso 75.93
4. Detroit 75.53
5. Youngstown State 74.52
6. Wisconsin Milwaukee 74
7. Wisconsin Green Bay 73.64
8. Wright State 69.49
9. Loyola Chicago 67.65
10. Illinois Chicago 63.41
I have felt like Cleveland State was the Top team in the Horizon League all year and they finished on Top in my ratings. Butler has had an off year compared to what they normally do but this is still a very dangerous team come tournament time. Valparaiso should make some noise especially with them playing on their home court and having to only win 2 games at home to advance to the Big Dance.
ROCKETMAN HORIZON WINNER: CLEVELAND STATE
ROCKETMAN SLEEPER: BUTLER
ROCKETMAN LONG SHOT: DETROIT
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