Horizon League (conference rank: 19th)
All games at Detroit (Joe Louis Arena).
kPOY: Alec Peters, Valparaiso
Regular season champ: Valparaiso (preseason #69 / 1st HL, current #94) and Oakland (preseason #163 / 3rd HL, current #110)
Overachiever: Northern Kentucky (preseason #277, current #155)
Underachiever: Milwaukee (preseason #227, current #280)
The big story out of the Horizon League is that Valpo’s Alec Peters will be unable to play in the event, or any other event that the Crusaders might participate in the rest of the season. Peters missed the last two games of the regular with a leg injury that turned out to be serious enough to require missing the next few weeks.
Though the resulting chances tabulated below do not consider Peters’ absence, the results of the two games he missed shouldn’t cause Valpo fans to give up hope. The Crusaders played two games that were expected to be toss-ups: road games against Wright State and Northern Kentucky. They beat Wright State in a tight game and lost to NKU in a close one.
Generally, I think the impact of an injured player is overstated in college hoops. People covering [whatever] tend to overstate the impact of any event, because it’s good for business to say “hey guys, this is really important!” No doubt Peters’ injury affects Valpo and the Crusaders always had to deal with the issue of being swept rather easily by Oakland in the regular season, anyway. But they still have Shane Hammink and Tevonn Walker and early indicators are positive that they can take on additional offensive responsibilities. While Oakland is surely the actual favorite, Valpo isn’t far behind and no worse that the second-most likely option this week.
I’ve given Detroit a half share of home court and Oakland a quarter share in this event.
Qtrs Semis Final Champ 2 Valparaiso 100 84.5 62.2 36.0 1 Oakland 100 82.9 54.5 32.3 4 Northern Kentucky 100 52.2 21.3 9.6 3 Green Bay 100 67.8 25.0 9.6 5 Wright St. 100 47.8 18.6 8.1 6 Illinois Chicago 100 32.2 7.6 1.8 8 Cleveland St. 65.9 14.1 4.9 1.5 7 Detroit 56.4 8.8 3.1 0.7 10 Milwaukee 43.6 6.7 2.0 0.4 9 Youngstown St. 34.1 3.1 0.6 0.1