Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A One Pack For Championship Tuesday

A look at the biggest game on Tuesday night's schedule:

Cleveland State at Butler
As the bubble holds its breath, Butler and Cleveland State square off tonight in the Horizon final. The Bulldogs, regardless of the result, are a lock for an at-large, which means Cleveland State has the opportunity to be the first true bid-stealer of the week. The Vikings, if you remember, made some early-season headlines when Cedric Jackson hit a half-court shot to beat Syracuse at the Carrier Dome. They've won 11 of their last 13 coming into this game and advanced to the final after upsetting second-seeded Wisconsin-Green Bay in the semis. Butler swept the season series between these two teams, but both games went right down to the wire. The Bulldogs won at Cleveland State on a three-pointer at the buzzer back on Dec. 4, and then let a 10-point second half lead slip away before hanging on to beat the Vikings on a late lay-up in the rematch on Feb. 28. That game, like this one, took place in Hinkle Fieldhouse, where the Bulldogs have lost just once this season and just twice in the last two years. That home court advantage should be enough to help Butler win its second straight Horizon tourney title. If it's not, the Vikings will be dancing and St. Mary's will be on the outside looking in on Wednesday. If Butler wins, they should be right around a 6 seed on Selection Sunday; a loss would drop them into the 8-9 range.

Also receiving votes: Oakland vs. North Dakota State (Summit championship), South Alabama vs. Western Kentucky (Sun Belt championship)


Anonymous said...

Here's hoping butler loses, because them against a one seed in the second round would be a great game

Anonymous said...

I think people are underestimating how good the NDSU/Oakland game will be. NDSU has the potential of being a feel-good national story if they make the tournament. They have four red-shirt seniors in their first year of tournament eligibility. Their entire college career has been built around this one game.

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