After beginning the college basketball season under the specter of COVID-19 challenges, we have finally arrived at the glorious month of March. The NCAA Tournament is just two weeks away. It will once again be filled with dominant programs, great players and live mid-major underdogs.
First, though, we are blessed with conference tournament season!
The Horizon League joins the Northeast Conference, Atlantic Sun and Patriot League as the first four of 32 conference tournaments that will determine March Madness automatic bids.
The Cleveland State Vikings and Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons finished tied atop the standings with identical 15-6 Horizon League records. Cleveland State earned the No. 1 seed for the second straight year, by virtue of defeating the Mastodons twice in three games. Their last matchup was a 102-98 triple-overtime thriller won by Purdue Fort Wayne at home.
The Horizon League is one of the few conferences using the lowest-remaining seed process for seeding after Tuesday’s opening round. After Tuesday’s opening round, the tournament is re-seeded in each subsequent round.
The Ohio Valley Tournament consists of only eight of the top 10 teams in the conference. The games are played on four consecutive days, with the eventual champion earning their title with four straight victories.
2022 NCAA Tournament Betting Previews
Horizon League Bracket
Horizon Tournament History
Last season, Cleveland State was the first No. 1 seed to win the Horizon League Tournament since Valparaiso in 2015. In fact, No. 1 seeds have not fared well historically, winning just four of the past 13 tournaments. The lowest seed to win the Horizon League Tournament during that time was No. 5 seeded Milwaukee in 2014. There have only been four No. 1 vs. No. 2 seeded finals game during that span.
There is historic precedence for a repeat champion, as Northern Kentucky completed that feat in 2019 and 2020. The last team to repeat as champions before the Norse? The former Horizon League member Butler Bulldogs, guided by current Boston Celtics general manager Brad Stevens in 2010-2011.
Horizon League Odds & Betting Breakdown
*Lines accurate at time of publication. (Odds via WynnBet)
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