It’s that time of year once again, folks! The NCAA March Madness Tournament is closing in fast. However, each conference has a bit of unfinished business to tend to before the big dance.
Referred to by many as the “tournament before the tournament,” 32 different conference tournament champions will be crowned over the next two weeks.
One of the first to get it all started is the Horizon League.
Wright State, Northern Kentucky lead the way
The team to beat in the Horizon Tournament is definitely Wright State.
At 25-6 overall and 15-3 in conference play, Wright State is favored to take home the Horizon League Tournament title.
Led by the big man, Loudon Love, Wright State will be a tough team to knock out this season.
The 6’8” Junior can do it all for Wright State on both ends of the floor.
As their go-to guy in the post on offense, Love is averaging over 16 points per game along with nine rebounds.
Recently named the Horizon League Player of the Year, Love has a chance to become known on a national level if Wright State can make the NCAA Tournament.
The 2019-20 #HLMBB All-League Award Winners:
— Horizon League (@HorizonLeague) March 2, 2020
Right behind Wright State is Northern Kentucky.
The Norse are once again making a bid to claim the Horizon League title.
At 21-9, they may have an outside shot at becoming an at large bid to make it to the big dance, however, winning the Horizon Tournament would guarantee a March Madness ticket.
While most experts believe that either Wright State or Northern Kentucky will cut down the nets, one team to keep an eye on is Illinois-Chicago.
The Flames have beaten both Wright State and Northern Kentucky this season. That is something not many teams in the league can boast.
They defend well against the outside game, and they are ranked 20th overall in three-point defense.
One more reason they could be a sleeper to watch – they aren’t expected to win. The chip on their shoulders will be big.
Horizon League Tournament bracket, schedule
Unlike most of the tournaments, the 2020 Horizon League Tournament isn’t held in one location.
The first two rounds are played at the higher seeds campus sites this week before heading to Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis for the semifinals and finals which will be played on March 9 and 10.
Below is a look at the Horizon League schedule, printable bracket, and odds to win the tournament.
Following the end of the #HLMBB regular season on Saturday, the bracket for the 2020 Horizon League Men’s Basketball Championship was unveiled.
Check out the full bracket and each team's path to #REACHtheHORIZON in Indianapolis.
— Horizon League (@HorizonLeague) March 1, 2020
Tuesday’s first-round – March 3, 2020
- Game 1: No. 8 Milwaukee at No. 5 Youngstown St., 7 p.m. ET
- Game 2: No. 7 Cleveland St. at No. 6 Oakland, 7 p.m. ET
- Game 3: No. 9 IUPUI at No. 4 UIC, 8 p.m. ET
Thursday’s quarterfinals – March 5, 2020
- Game 4: Lowest-remaining seed at No. 3 Green Bay, 7 p.m. ET
- Game 5: Second lowest-remaining seed at Highest-remaining seed, 7 p.m. ET
Semifinals – March 9, 2020
- Game 6: No. 1 Wright St. vs. lowest-remaining seed from quarters, 7 p.m. ET
- Game 7: No. 2 Northern Kentucky vs. highest-remaining seed from quarters, 9:30 p.m. ET
Horizon Final – March 10, 2020
- Game 8: Game 6 winner vs. Game 7 winner, 7 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN2) ET
Horizon League Tournament odds
- Wright State -165
- Northern Kentucky +170
- Green Bay + 300
- Youngstown St +450
- UIC +450
- Oakland +600
- Milwaukee +700
- Cleveland State +750
- Detroit Mercy +900
- IUPUI +1000