The Horizon League Tournament tips off on February 28th, and it’s shaping up to be an intriguing one. The regular season race is still close, as Valparaiso holds a slim one game advantage over slumping Cleveland State, who has lost three straight.
- Tournament Site: First Round and Championship held on the home floor of the higher seed with the Quarterfinals and Semifinals held on the home floor of the Number One seed.
- Tournament Dates and TV Coverage:
- First Round: Tuesday, February 28th
- Quarterfinals: Friday, March 2nd
- Semifinals: Saturday, March 3rd at 6:00 and 8:30 (ESPNU)
- Championship: Tuesday, March 6th at 9:00 (ESPN or ESPN2)
- Seeding/Bracket Notes: The top two seeds receive byes to the Semifinals on Saturday, March 3rd.
- Official Site
- Horizon League Tournament Tickets
Horizon League Tournament Outlook
Since the top two seeds get byes to the semifinals of the tournament, regular season results are of the utmost importance. Four teams are currently within two games of CSU for the two-seed, so every remaining game is critical for those clubs. The top seed also hosts the quarterfinals and semifinals, while the highest remaining seed earns the right to play the championship game on their home floor.
At this point, you could make an argument for any one of six teams winning the title.
Valpo has won nine of 11 and boasts the conference’s third-leading scorer and top rebounder in Ryan Broekhoff. Frontcourt mate Kevin Van Wijk is also an accomplished scorer and has posted a superb 86.5 free throw rate for the season with 180 free throw attempts already.
Second-place Cleveland State is solid defensively and has five players scoring between 8.6 and 12.3 points per game. Keep in mind that Detroit suffered two of their six league losses prior to the return of talented big man Eli Holman. The Titans have a number of offense weapons, led by talented point guard Ray McCallum Jr., and they have won seven of their last eight games.
You certainly can’t rule out Butler given their recent post-season success, and an always stingy defense has helped to offset poor shooting for the Bulldogs. Youngstown State has two of the top nine scorers in the league in Kendrick Perry and Blake Allen, and Milwaukee boasts multiple double-digit scorers, led by the conference’s top assist man in Kaylon Williams.
Click to see Andy’s complete Championship Week Preview.
Note: We will have a complete preview before the tournament starts and seedings/matchups are known.