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March Madness 2013
Valparaiso will host the second round and semifinals, with the highest remaining seed hosting the championship game.
The winner of this conference will likely get a 13 or 14 seed which tends to be the norm for the Horizon League. The teams are usually middle of the road when compared with other mid-majors. They aren't great, but they can challenge most of the top teams. That's why they aren't as high as a 10-seed and not as low as a 15-seed.
There are only two teams to focus on for this tournament and most are pretty familiar with them: Valparaiso and Detroit. Each of them had pretty difficult out-of-conference schedules, but neither could get the big win.
Record: 24-7, 13-3
Valpo got the 1-seed by just one game over Detroit. They split the season series and it's going to be a great final if they both make it there. Fourth-seeded Green Bay, whom they just beat by 19 points on the road, will be their toughest competitor prior to the final. Since the Crusaders didn't do much in non-conference play, they won't make the big dance if they don't win this tourney. That's exactly what happened to them last year after winning the regular season conference title, they lost by 20 points to Detroit in the 2012 Championship game.
Led by a couple of international seniors in Kevin Van Wijk (Netherlands) and Ryan Broekhoff (Australia), they'll hope to make that final step. Those two are the only players on Valpo that average double-digits.
Record: 20-11, 12-4
Much like the Crusaders, they need to win the tourney to make it further. They played a lot of tough teams out of conference, but they weren't able to get many big wins. A four-point loss at Syracuse stands out. If Ray McCallum Jr. is on, this team can threaten a lot of 3-seeds. In the Horizon tourney, they'll likely face Wright State, a team they split with, before the final. Last year, with an 11-7 conference record, the Titans won the tournament. They ended up losing to No. 2 seed Kansas in their first NCAA game.
Detroit is a very offensive focused team that scores the fifth-most points per game in the country. That usually isn't seen from the smaller schools. McCallum is their best scoring option, but he isn't their only one. Nick Minnerath will give anyone's bigs problems down low and Doug Anderson makes highlight worthy plays every game.
Wright State (3-seed) could be the dark horse of this conference as they already have shown what they can do with road wins at Detroit and Green Bay. They fought in two games against Valparaiso, losing by a combined 13 points. It'll be unlikely for them to reach the final past Detroit, but it's not out of question this time of the year.
The one thing about this tournament is that every game will likely be played on Valparaiso's home court. That automatically gives them the upper hand. Still, Detroit went to Valpo in mid-February and outscored them by 21 points in the second half. McCallum (19 PPG) was the Titans third leading scorer in that game. Detroit has a very experienced starting lineup and it wouldn't be a surprise for them to make the NCAA Tourney for the second straight year.
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