Sunday’s heartbreaking double overtime loss at Oakland could prove costly in the race for the #3 seed and the potential bye to the quarterfinals that comes with it.
Detroit Mercy was banned from postseason play before the season and is still waiting to hear if their appeal will be granted which would make them eligible for the conference tournament. If the Titans’ appeal is denied it would likely mean the tournament’s #3 seed would receive a bye to the quarterfinals and have to win just one home game instead of two to reach the semifinals in Indianapolis.
Seeds 4, 5, and 6 would host a first round game against the remaining three lowest seeded teams with the winners advancing to the quarterfinals.
Green Bay (9-7) finds itself in a three way tie for third place with Youngstown State and UIC as we head into the final week of the regular season.
With two games left to play there is still plenty of opportunity for movement as only a couple of things are currently wrapped up:
- Wright State (14-3) and Northern Kentucky (13-4) will be the tournament’s top two seeds with the winner of Friday night’s nationally televised game between the two determining which team will be the #1 seed. Both teams will have a double bye to the semifinals at the conference tournament and if the Raiders can pull off a road victory they will win the regular season title outright. But a Norse victory would bring the teams even at 14-4 with NKU winning the tiebreaker thanks to a season sweep of Youngstown State. The #1 seed also receives an automatic bid to the NIT should they not win the conference tournament.
- The tournament semifinals and finals will be played at the home of IUPUI’s mens basketball team – the Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis – but the Jaguars (2-14) have locked up the #10 seed (or #9 should Detroit Mercy have their appeal denied) meaning they would have to win two road games just to reach the semifinals at their home arena.
The Phoenix have already assured themselves of at least one home game in the conference tournament as they can finish no lower than 5th due to winning the tiebreakers over Milwaukee (7-9) and Oakland (7-9).
Green Bay can guarantee at least the #4 seed by beating Youngstown State on Thursday night at the Resch Center as the Phoenix would win the tiebreaker with the Penguins as well thanks to a season split with Northern Kentucky. On the flip side, if YSU wins on Thursday the Penguins would win the tiebreaker thanks to sweeping the season series 2-0 over Green Bay and guarantee themselves at least the #4 seed.
The #4 seed has a huge advantage as they would potentially get to host their opening round and quarterfinal games in their quest to reach the semifinals on the neutral floor in Indianapolis. The loser of Thursday’s game will need UIC to lose both of their games (home vs Detroit Mercy and Oakland) while winning their regular season finale in order to finish 4th.
UIC (9-7) clinches at least the #4 seed with a win in either of their final two games.
The scenarios for the 3 seed are interesting as it appears none of the three teams vying for it currently control their own destiny. For example, if both Green Bay and UIC were to win their final two games the tiebreaker would come down to who finishes higher between Milwaukee and Oakland. The Phoenix would win the tiebreaker if Milwaukee finishes higher since the Flames were swept by UWM, but UIC would win the tiebreaker if Oakland finishes higher thanks to their sweep of the Golden Grizzlies. The Flames will be the 3 seed if both UIC and YSU win their final two games thanks to their season split with Northern Kentucky (YSU was swept by the Norse).
- UIC will clinch at least the #4 seed and two potential home games with a victory in one of its final two games
- The winner of Thursday night’s Green Bay / Youngstown State game will also clinch at least the #4 seed
- The 3 seed is still too close to call at this point. No team totally controls its own destiny
- If Green Bay and UIC both win out (11-7)
- GB is the 3 seed if Milwaukee finishes above Oakland
- UIC is the 3 seed if Oakland finishes above Milwaukee
- If Youngstown State and UIC both win out (11-7):
- UIC wins the tiebreaker (split with NKU) and is the 3 seed, YSU is 4
- If Green Bay, Youngstown State, or UIC win out while the other two lose at least once:
- The team winning out is the 3 seed at 11-7
- If Green Bay, Youngstown State, and UIC all lose at least once:
- Chaos – tiebreakers to be determined based on results
- If Green Bay and UIC both win out (11-7)
Current seeding (with tiebreakers) and remaining games:
- Wright State (14-3) – at Northern Kentucky
- Northern Kentucky (13-4) – at Wright State
- UIC (9-7) – vs Detroit Mercy, vs Oakland
- Youngstown State (9-7) – at Green Bay, at Milwaukee
- Green Bay (9-7) – vs Youngstown State, vs Cleveland State
- Milwaukee (7-9) – vs Cleveland State, vs Youngstown State
- Oakland (7-9) – at IUPUI, at UIC
- Cleveland State (6-10) – at Milwaukee, at Green Bay
- Detroit Mercy (5-11) – at UIC, at IUPUI
- IUPUI (2-14) – vs Oakland, vs Detroit Mercy
Categories: Horizon League