This is the post where I’m collecting links, tweets and information concerning Horizon League realignment. I’ll update it as frequently as necessary. Continue Reading →
Before last night, Youngstown State had never played in, much less won, a postseason game. Pertinent numbers after the jump.
No. 14 Valparaiso (26-7, 13-3) vs. No. 3 Michigan State (25-8, 13-5)
When and where: Thursday at 12:15 p.m. ET at Auburn Hills, Mich.
Watch: CBS with Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery and Rachel Nichols on the call
Read: Valparaiso faces Michigan State close to home by AP | Michigan State will start NCAA run at the Palace against Valparaiso by Joe Rexrode at the Detroit Free Press | Five on Five: Michigan State vs. Valparaiso by The Detroit News | Valparaiso knows anything can happen by Noah Trister at AP | Tom Izzo wary of Valpo by Joe Rexrode at Detroit Free Press | Valparaiso is ‘Coming to win’ by Michael Osipoff | The Only Colors Q&A by Beyond the Arc
Pomeroy: Michigan State 80%
Last time: Valparaiso and then-sophomores Ryan Broekhoff and Brandon Wood fell to Wood’s future team in a non-conference meeting on Nov. 22, 2009 in the Legends Classic, 90-60.
About Michigan State: Boasting an offense and a defense that both rank among the top 25 in Pomeroy’s charts, the Spartans’ worst loss of the season came in their season-opening thud against UConn. Otherwise, MSU has been a formidable model of consistency behind junior guard Keith Appling’s inside-outside presence.
Next: Winner gets Memphis-St. Mary’s winner Continue Reading →
Yesterday the Horizon League announced that preseason award voters made good on their initial selection of Ray McCallum Jr. as player of the year by voting Detroit’s phenom point guard as the league’s top player — the first time since 2001 that a player has been chosen as the preseason and end-of-season player of the year.
Of course, the honor was last year bestowed on Valparaiso’s Ryan Broekhoff. Continue Reading →
Last Year: Third-seeded Detroit, which fell to Valparaiso twice during the regular season, upset the top-seeded Crusaders in their own Athletics-Recreation Center, 70-50. The McCallums were pleased.
This Year: History could very well repeat itself as Valparaiso and Detroit return as the top seeds and clear favorites. Last year’s No. 2 seed, Cleveland State is clinging to life thanks to a swath of mid-season injuries, but Wright State and Green Bay present threats.
With last night’s gutsy 85-76 win at Loyola that avenged an earlier loss, Valparaiso secured itself a spot among the top three seeds for the Horizon League Tournament (Championship?), which begins on March 5.
Under the structure of the new nine-team tournament, the top two seeds receive byes into the semifinals, and the No. 3 seed will receive a first-round bye. The No. 1 seed hosts all second-round and semifinal games, and the highest remaining seed will host the tournament championship.
UIC and Wright State have three remaining conference games, while the other seven teams have a pair of games left, so there’s still a decent amount of wiggle room for everybody. I attempted to illustrate the possibilities in the graphic below. Continue Reading →