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Horizon League Conference Tournament

Preview - Predictions - Odds - Analysis

 

2/28/12

The Horizon League Conference tournament gets underway on Tuesday. Below we will post the current schedule and the odds to win the Horizon Conference tournament, courtesy of 5 Dimes Sportsbook. Valparaiso (21-10, 14-4 Horizon) will host the second round and semifinals on March 2-3, and will host the League championship on March 6, should they win their semifinal. Cleveland State also earned a bye as the #2 seed and won't have to play until Saturday.


Everyone else will be in action on Tuesday and while the Calendar still says February, it's safe to say, March Madness has begun. When handicapping this tourney, as with any tournament, it's always a good idea to look ahead at some possible upset contenders, especially those with nice futures prices attached. How does 50 to 1 odds sound? Read on.


We always talk about finding teams that are hot at just the right time. How about Wisconsin Green Bay? They have won 5 straight and 8 out of their last 10 games. Within those 10 games are wins over 1st seed Valpo and 2nd seed Cleveland State. They are also 7-2-1 against the spread their last 10. Wisconsin Green Bay will definitely be worth a look both in individual games against the spread as well as to win the entire tournament at odds of 50 to 1. Sure, they have their work cut out, but 50 to 1? Worth a shot.


Another "hot" team, but at only 12 to 1 odds to win the Horizon tournament would be Wisconsin Milwaukee. They are 4-1 over their last 5 games and also 4-1 against the spread. They also own a recent win over Cleveland State, (who recently lost 5 straight before winning their last 2) and beat Valpo on the road earlier in the year.


Detroit and Butler are also 4-1 their last 5 games, but while Butler is 3-2 against the number, Detroit is 1-4 ATS their last 5. Also note that Valparaiso is just 1-4 against the spread their last 5.


We can toss out Youngstown, Wright St, Illinois Chicago and Loyola Chicago. That leaves Valpo, Clev St, Detroit, Butler, Wisconsin Milwaukee and Wisconsin Green Bay. If you recalculate each teams power ratings to reflect the level they are playing at right now, Valpo would be last, almost 10 points behind Butler, who would have the highest rating with this method. 2nd seed Cleveland State would be rated 3rd highest, but also note that when recalculating their ratings they are playing at a level of about 4 points below their regular season rating.


Here are the current odds to win the Horizon League Tournament.
Courtesy of 5 Dimes

Cleveland State  +115
Valparaiso  +125
Butler  +600
Detroit  +750
Milwaukee  +1200
Youngstown State  +3500
Green Bay  +5000
Wright State  +10000
Illinois-Chicago  +25000
Loyola IL  +35000

Our futures strategy here would be to toss out Cleveland State and Valparaiso and play Butler, Detroit, Wis-Mil and Wis GB. Also tossing Youngstown, Wright State, Ill-Chi and Loy-Chi.


Here are our score predictions for the opening round on Tuesday.

Loyola Chicago 53
Detroit 68

Wisc Green Bay 63
Youngstown State 62

Wright State 48
Butler 59

Illinois Chicago 50
Wisc Milwaukee 68

Here is the full schedule for the tournament.

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
Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 8:30 p.m. ET
Semifinals - Saturday, March 3 (Valparaiso)
Game 7: Game 5 winner vs. (2) Cleveland State, 6 p.m. ET
Game 8: Game 6 winner at (1) Valparaiso, 8:30 p.m. ET

Championship - Tuesday, March 6 (highest remaining seed)
Game 9: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner


 

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