The 2017 Horizon League Tournament printable bracket and schedule are set. While the Horizon League doesn’t get the hype of other big conferences like the Big Ten, ACC and SEC, when it comes to college basketball, don’t be fooled by its lack of national air time. There are quite a few talented kids who play in the Horizon Conference, and they will be on display later this week when they open up their annual conference tournament this Friday.
According to a Freep report, Oakland University won its first regular-season Horizon League championship on Sunday afternoon after defeating the Milwaukee Panthers 86-75. While OU finished in a tie with Valparaiso atop the Horizon Conference at 24-7 (14-4 in league play), they earned the regular season title thanks to a season sweep over the Crusaders. Valparaiso had won four of the previous five Horizon League titles.
Oakland will now open this week’s Horizon League tournament as the No. 1 seed when the action gets underway at Joe Louis Arena this Friday.
OU has made huge strides under long-time coach Greg Kampe, and while they are excited about the upcoming conference tournament, they want to make a splash in the big dance this March.
“You think anybody outside of our locker room after we walked off the floor after losing to Cleveland State (Jan. 16) at home thought we would be the champions?” coach Greg Kampe said. “Perseverance. Our kids never quit. They pulled themselves off the mat, they worked really hard, they deserve it.”
Along with Oakland, Valparaiso and Northern Kentucky also have a good shot at not just winning the Horizon Tournament, but also getting an at-large bid into the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
The Norse of Northern Kentucky finished in third place behind Valpo and OU, but these guys have the talent to win the upcoming league championship and earn the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
Northern Kentucky defeated Valparaiso last night behind sophomore sensation Drew McDonald. McDonald’s 23 points led the way and Lavone Holland II made a pair of key free throws with 2.3 seconds left, helping Northern Kentucky pull off the 82-78 upset of Valparaiso on Sunday evening.
Even though Northern Kentucky finished in third overall in the conference standings, they are the No. 4 seed heading into tourney play. The No. 3 spot will go to the Green Bay Phoenix, who will be trying to win back-to-back Horizon League Tournaments when they hit the hardwood this weekend.
The host team, the Detroit Titans head into the Horizon League Tournament as the No. 7 seed.
Below is a look at the seeds, odds, and schedule for the upcoming Horizon League Tournament. Be sure to click here for your own Horizon League printable bracket. The 2017 Horizon League Tournament will take place from March 3-7 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan.
This will be the last time the Horizon League will hold its tournament at the Joe Louis Arena, as the stadium will close its doors sometime after the Detroit Red Wings’ NHL season comes to a close.
- Oakland U
- Green Bay
- North Kentucky
- Wright State
- Detroit Mercy
- Cleveland State
- Youngstown State
- Oakland U -140
- Valparaiso -130
- Green Bay +180
- North Kentucky +350
- Wright State +450
- UIC +650
- Detroit Mercy +800
- Cleveland State +1500
- Youngstown State +1500
- Milwaukee +2000
2017 Horizon League Tournament Schedule:
First round: Friday, March 3
- Game 1, 5:30 p.m.: No. 7 Detroit (8-22) vs. No. 10 Milwaukee (8-23), ESPN3.
- Game 2, 8:00: No. 8 Youngstown (11-20) vs. No. 9 Cleveland State (9-21), ESPN3.
Second round: Saturday, March 4
- Game 3, 5:30: No. 1 Oakland (24-7) vs. Game 2 winner, ESPN3.
- Game 4, 8:00: No. 2 Valparaiso (24-7) vs. Game 1 winner, ESPN3.
Third round: Sunday, March 5
- Game 5, 5:00: No. 3 Northern Kentucky (21-10) vs. No. 6 Illinois-Chicago (14-17), ESPN3.
- Game 6, 7:30: No. 4 Green Bay (18-12) vs. No. 5 Wright State (20-11), ESPN3.
Semifinals: Monday, March 6
- Game 7, 7:00: Game 3 winner vs. Game 6 winner, ESPNU.
- Game 8, 9:30: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, ESPNU.
Horizon Championship: Tuesday, March 7, 7 p.m. ET – ESPN
[Featured Image by Turner Botz/Getty Images]