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Horizon First Round Preview

March 3, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments

Horizon League First Round Preview

Preview by Nick Dettmann

No. 9 Cleveland State at No. 4 Detroit
The Titans come into the tournament as one the red hot teams of the league. They have won eight straight games with their last loss coming on Jan. 31 in overtime to Loyola-Chicago. During the win streak, Detroit beat two of the top teams at that time, UW-Green Bay and Wright State. The Titans are led by Elijah Warren’s 11.9 points per game, good enough for 16th in the league.

The Vikings will go into Detroit with the league’s longest losing streak ever, 22 straight. A promising year started 4-2 and a down-to-the-wire loss to North Carolina early in the season. But injuries and ineligibility has hindered CSU’s development besides having the league’s second leading scorer in Jermaine Robinson. The Vikings, much like against the rest of the league, lost both games during the regular season.

Prediction: Detroit 78, Cleveland State 61

No. 8 Loyola-Chicago at No. 5 Wright State
The Raiders were slow at the beginning of the season, were riding high midway through and finished off in a slump. But the Raiders have the league’s Coach of the Year in Paul Biancardi and have won four of their last six at home. However, they have lost two straight coming in, which killed their chances of getting a first round bye.

Loyola picked up a late momentum win in the season finale against Cleveland State. Before beating the Vikings, the Ramblers had lost every game, but one, since Jan. 5. The only win was an overtime win over Detroit. The Ramblers lost both games of the series this season.

Prediction: Wright State 69, Loyola-Chicago 62

No. 7 Youngstown State at No. 6 Butler
Butler has a lot more riding on this game than they would like to believe. Not only are they on their home floor, but they can host the next two rounds of games with a victory. And if last year was any indication how important the home floor advantage is, Butler should take it to consideration and they will. But it will not be easy. Mike Monserez will be a key factor in this game, along with deep threats Avery Sheets and Bruce Horan.

Youngstown State has been an upset minded team all season long. They battled Pittsburgh to a 57-42 loss at Pittsburgh earlier this season and they defeated UW-Milwaukee at home, preventing UWM to win the regular season title outright at that time. Doug Underwood is one of the most underrated players in the league and unless Butler can shut him down, he will be the difference maker. Much like how he was in the two games against UWM. Butler won both meetings during the regular season.

Prediction: Butler 71, Youngstown State 68 (OT)

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