2007 Horizon League Predictions


Okay, here’s the bracket and picks, before the games start tonight. Kinda neat Loyola doesn’t play on Tuesday for once.

                            1 Wright St--
|1 Wright St--
8 Detroit----                            |             |
|5 Youngstown-              |             |
5 Youngstown-              |             |             |
|5 Youngstown-              |
4 UWGB-------              |                           |
|4 UWGB-------                            |
9 Cleveland--                                          |
|3 Loyola Chi
7 UWM--------                                          |
|6 UIC--------                            |
6 UIC--------              |                           |
|3 Loyola Chi-              |
|             |             |
3 Loyola Chi-              |             |
|             |
|3 Loyola Chi-
2 Butler-----

WHY NOT. It’s time for it to happen.

Valpo joins the league next year, so this is probably the end of this particular bracket strangeness. I hoping something even stranger replaces it.

lu-c Comments Off on 2007 Horizon League Predictions

1 of 2 to go


Loyola (Chicago) 75 – Butler 71

That’s 1! Schilb took over the game (Mid Majority writes some nice things about him and the team), but I was still worried when everyone was fouling out and he was left to be the ball handler. Rebounds late can be great. The win causes Loyola to leap 17 spots in the RPI to 90. Wright State is 83, but I believe has clinched a NIT spot by winning the confrence, though I don’t know how they actually did that.

Loyola beat Butler by 4 @ Butler
Butler beat Loyola by 4 @ Loyola

The third game, if Loyola beats the 6-7 winner (one never knows for sure with this team), would be a neutral site game at Wright State. I guess it’s gonna have to go to OT?

The other question is – with the SIU loss (not bad) and the Loyola loss (kinda bad), is Butler in trouble if they lose again? Butler’s dropped to 31 in the RPI, which is going to make it a bit scary. They should make it, but who knows.

lu-c , Comments Off on 1 of 2 to go

by a thread


Last year, Loyola Chicago got to 19-11, and didn’t get any post season action. Their RPI ended up being pretty dreadful – 138’s not going to get it done, even when there were 105 spots. Still, that was the best record in two decades This year, the Ramblers seem headed to a 21-11 record (best since a 27 win season in 84-85), and still won’t make the post season. Winning 40 games over two years and not making either the NCAA or the NIT once seems pretty impossible, but I fear that’s what’s going to happen.

21-8 (13-2) 081 RPI – Wright State
25-4 (12-2) 028 RPI – Butler
19-9 (09-5) 108 RPI – Loyola (Chicago)

Preseason polls had Loyola winning the conference, but that talk was over after Butler ran thru the NIT, and died another death when Wright State got unbelievable hot on in the conference. RPI 108 might have had an outside chance of getting a NIT bid, but they’ve shrunk that tournament by 8 spots.

Loyola still got two chances of making it to post season play, which is at least one more chance than usual:
– win the Horizon league tournament, which they haven’t done since 1985.
– beat Butler at Butler on Thursday, and then possibly beat Butler again (at Wright State) to make it to the Horizon league final

Nothing else is going to get the RPI to a useful level. If they don’t win Thursday against Butler, they’ll get Wright State in the 2/3 league tournament game (assuming they make it that far.) Wright themselves are borderline for making the NIT, so a win over them won’t help Loyola too much – they’d need to beat Butler anyway. If Loyola can beat Butler twice, that’ll not only raise their profile, but a Wright State/Loyola final means either Loyola is going to the NCAAs, or two team from it’s conference are going, which would make it tough to leave out the third team from the NITs.

Either way is going to be tough, but they’ve got chances; two wins out of the three big games will get it done. If they want to be a post season team, they’ve got do post season team type things next couple of weeks.

lu-c Comments Off on by a thread

shooting fish in and out barrels


The A10 should be ashamed (though someone will surely redeem themselves by bumping off GW in the A-10 tournament.)

YAY TEMPLE. Goodbye, #6 MVC team.

lu-c Comments Off on shooting fish in and out barrels

2006 Horizon League Results


Picking chalk works! I think my plan for the NCAAs should be picking favorites all the way thru to the final four, and then flipping a coin.

This is SO a first day and out Horizon bid this year. Look elsewhere for your mid-major upset.

The latest NIT predicition (they’re now using the NCAA formula since the NCAA bought them and all) doesn’t even have Loyola in the team picture of the near misses, so this is a no-hoper. There’s a better chance of me starting a third tier tournament in the next week than LUC making the NIT.

lu-c Comments Off on 2006 Horizon League Results

another end


Loyola 68, UWM 80

This one, I hate being right. The QF game with the Detroit was so erratic for both teams, I didn’t have much hope tonight. So sad.

“I’d be happy to take that call too,” [Jim Whitesell] said. “We would love to play one more game. I’m going to mass [Sunday] morning.”

He then looked at Schilb and guard J.R. Blount. “We’re all going to mass together,” he said.

If I had a prayer it’d help, I’d drive down to chapel right now. The votes aren’t in, but it’s not looking good. But this is a good season, and everyone just needs to take from it what they can and make next season two games better.

lu-c Comments Off on another end

2006 Horizon League Predictions


Horizon League 1st Round: Loyola Chicago 76 – Youngstown State 61

I listened to the first half (and couldn’t listen to the second – stupid WIND, stupid ILL) of yesterday’s game, but it wasn’t till today that I realized I once again failed to make picks for the tournament.

I think I would’ve taken Loyola (duh), Wright (oops – that was a bad week!), and Detroit for the first round matchups. Starting fresh from here (RPI in brackets for no good reason), and remembering I have no idea what I’m talking about:

Loyola Chicago (145) vs Detroit (171)
01/05: Detroit 73 – Loyola 67 @ Detroit
01/28: Loyola 68 – Detroit 63

Detroit is a historically scary defensive team and I don’t like this matchup. You’ll notice in the game Loyola lost, they allowed Detroit to shoot 63% in the second half – I suggest they don’t do that again. Loyola actually shot worse in the game they won. Loyola’s done pretty well created turnovers and getting steals in this matchups.

There’s not a lot separating these teams, so I’m just picking the team I like. YAY Analysis.

Winner: Loyola

UIC (125) vs UWGB (187)
01/11 – UWGB 90 – UIC 84 (OT) @ Green Bay
01/28 – UIC 81 – UWGB 68 @ Chicago

I actually listened to part of that first game; UWGB was up a lot and should’ve cruised to a win, but UIC chipped away and go back into it. Which is an easy metaphor for their season. UWGB dug themselves a huge hole in the second game with bad first half shooting and couldn’t dig out. Three of UIC’s last 5 games have gone to OT, but they did manage to beat UWM (ending their at large hopes).

UWGB already has a game listed versus Butler for Saturday. You don’t really want to tempt fate like that.

UWGB’s Ryan Evanochko was hot in Game 1 (30 points), and UWGB won. He scored 8 in the second game (3-12 shooting), and they lost. I think that might be the key. I don’t feel any stronger about this matchup – we’re all 8-8 and mediocre here, but I trust UWGB a bit more.

Winner: UWGB


Loyola (145) vs UWM (53) [in Milwaukee]
01/11: UWM 78 – Loyola 75 at Milwaukee
01/30: UWM 68 – Loyola 57 at Chicago

Second game was closer than the score indicated, but they blew it in the last two minutes. At that was at home; this is UWM home court.

If Loyola is here, they’re going for 20 wins and a chance at the post season; obviously a chance at the confrence, but beating UWM would probably be enough to be in the NIT discussion. UWM would also be 20 wins, and a loss here would doom them to NIT.

I want to believe. I’m so ready to believe. (I thought UWM was going to take a step back this year, that’s how willing I was.) But instead of spending 15 minutes trying to figure out how the Ramblers could possibly win (Schilb playing awesome, team shooting well in general), I’m just going to the quick.

Winner: UWM

They should be top 3 next season, I figure. I hope!

UWGB (187) vs Butler (91)
02/02 – Butler 72 – UWGB 66 (OT) in Indianapolis
02/13 – Butler 63 – UWGB 57 in Green Bay

All of Butler’s conference losses were on the road. This would technically be a neutral game, but UWGB’s closer (and the UWM fans would be against them.) They could’ve been tied with UWM, but lost their last game on a Detroit basket with 1.3 left.

Speaking of teams who were supposed to be down here, this is the kinda season that gets you Conference Player and Coach of The Year. Even the league preseason poll had them #5, and here they are, top 2 seed yet again.

If you like 3pts, this would be the game for you. The top seeds seem a notch above the 8-8 mess, so I’m going to stick with them for the finals.

Winner: Butler

UWM (53) vs Butler (91) in Milwaukee
01/07 – UWM 64 – Butler 59 in Milwaukee
02/04 – Butler 63 – UWM 60 (OT) in Indianapolis

UWM took the lead early in the first game, controlled it, Butler rallied back to take the lead around the ten minute mark of the second half, and UWM pulled back ahead just enough to keep it from being a one possession game at the end.

UWM went 0-13 from 3 in their loss. Butler hit a three with 2 seconds left to send it into OT. WM self destructed in the last 20 seconds of OT: down by only 1, Joah Tucker turned the ball over, Butler was fouled and made their shots, five seconds were left, and UWM failed to get a shot up.

Butler’s going to launch threes, UWM’s going to rebound and try to put them in foul trouble. Both teams are competitive if they play to their edges. Butler’s Brandon Polk (league POTY) is probably the key player here; he didn’t crack double digits in the loss, but shot 7-10 for 18 points in the win. He’s the balance Butler needs to have.

Butler went 5-8 on the road. UWM was 11-2 at home. I like Butler, but I think it’s hard to look pass those numbers. If anyone can take down UWM, it’s Butler, but I don’t believe they will.

Horizon League Winner: UWM
Headed to the NIT: Butler
close but no: Loyola

lu-c Comments Off on 2006 Horizon League Predictions

short road trips


(Let me ease into this.)

It occurred to me this week that there’s quite a bit of intra-IL College Basketball going on.

Loyola’s played Western, Bradley (who’ll be good this year), and will play Lake Forest (which might be an exhibition game) this Saturday, besides the conference games with UIC. (You could even include Purdue in here.)

UIC’s played (and lost!) to Chicago State, beaten Northwestern, and has a game versus NIU this Saturday. Both Horizon schools played Exhibition games versus Robert Morris as well.

In addition to UIC, NIUs also played Aurora University (how did I miss THAT) and DePaul. Depaul’s also played Bradley, who’ve also found a way to squeeze Chicago State into their schedule.

Illinois plays…uh, no one. Right. (Same thing with SIU.)

It used to be (if I’m recalling right) that these schools – especially ‘big-time’ NU, Illinois and DePaul – would rather step in vomit than play each other and especially play the smaller schools. You could see the logic; they’re fighting for the same kids, they don’t want other schools to point out negative head to head records; Illinois beating Loyola is meaningless for UofI, but Loyola beating UofI is tangible proof something can be built there.

As a fan, it’s much neater to see area teams play each other – not that I bother to go, but you can quickly figure out who’s actually got something this year. I

lu-c Comments Off on short road trips