Welcome ladies, gentlemen and fellow NCAA men's college basketball degenerates, to my weekly Horizon League conference recap! I take a lot of pride in both breaking down and handicapping these CBB plays, simply because you can find some real edges in the market (along with other small conferences), and that's why you hear me constantly covering them in the podcast and on Twitter as well. This will be the intro in every article, and I will also be recapping/reviewing the Horizon League as well. Both of these conferences play on back-to-back nights vs. the same opponent to cut down on travel for COVID purposes.
Don’t be confused about the schedule when you go to bet these games, as each of these conferences mainly play Friday/Saturday or Saturday/Sunday. Both articles will be out by Wednesday night (Thursday at the latest) every week through March Madness. Personally, I handicap every conference game and keep a lot of my work private. I do this because it forces me to look at every conference game and it helps me find real holes, since we are somewhat limited on our weekly choices. If you have any questions, thoughts or insights for now and/or going forward, feel free to contact me on Twitter any time @DanRivera228.
Author's Note: I went 2-4 on Friday and 4-1 on Saturday. My bad day on Friday derived from bad variance in Summit League scoring. The Horizon League, on the other hand, was very boring and predictable. We are now down to only two weeks left of Horizon League play before their conference tournament starts.
RECAP: Wright State Raiders (15-4, 13-3) @ UIC Flames (8-9, 5-7)
- Game 1: Wright State 72-47 (Wright State -9.5, under 146.5)
- Game 2: Wright State 77-57 (Wright State -11.5, under 142)
- Last year: UIC 2-1 SU/ATS, 1-2 O/U
This was my worst loss of the weekend. I gave out UIC Friday on Twitter because laying -9.5 points on the road to an okay home team was unfathomable. I had to go back to 2011 to find the last time Wright State won on the road by double digits. I still don’t think the Flames are this bad, but this team hasn’t looked good either. UIC is 0-5 in its last 5 games, now falling to 8-9 overall and to 5-7 in Summit League play.
RECAP: Youngstown State Penguins (11-10, 6-10) @ Robert Morris Colonials (3-11, 2-9)
- Game 1: Youngstown State OT 84-78 (Youngstown State +1.5, over 142.5)
- Game 2: Youngstown State OT 70-66 (Youngstown State +2, under 142)
- Last year: Youngstown State 81-70 (Youngstown State -7, over 131)
The 12th ranked Colonials (last in the Horizon League) played the 8th ranked Youngstown State Penguins in a battle between two just bad teams here. The host Colonials haven’t transitioned well into the Horizon League, going from winning their conference last year to dead last this year Youngstown State, on the other hand, can put up points, but the Penguins also give up a lot of points, which spells a lot of overs.
RECAP: IUPUI Jaguars (5-8, 4-8) @ Green Bay Phoenix (6-14, 6-10)
- Game 1: IUPUI 80-71 (IUPUI +5.5, over 147)
- Game 2: Green Bay 79-72 (Green Bay, over 147.5)
- Last year: Green bay 1-1 SU/ATS, 2-0 O/U
This is another game between two bad Horizon League teams. The only interesting thing from either game was game two in the first half when Green Bay was up by as many as 23 points with a 41-18 lead.
RECAP: IPFW Mastodons (6-11, 5-11) @ Detroit Mercy Titans (8-8, 7-5)
Game 1: Detroit 82-75 (Detroit -6.5, over 151)
Game 2: Detroit 83-56 (Detroit -5.5, under 149.5)
Last year: didn’t play
I have no idea what has happened to the Mastodons. About three weeks ago I was tweeting how good this team is and that they were somewhat underrated. IPFW is now 0-6 since that tweet (that’s what they get for making me pay a bunch of tuition for worthless classes). For Detroit Mercy, the Titans are now riding a five-game win streak and have won seven of their last eight. Detroit still hasn’t beaten a good team this year though, as all of its conference wins are vs. IPFW, Youngstown State, Oakland, and Green Bay. This team will get a real step up in competition when they play at Cleveland State on Friday night.
RECAP: Cleveland State Vikings (14-5, 14-2) @ Oakland Grizzlies (8-15, 8-8)
Game 1: Cleveland State 80-72 (Cleveland State +1.5, over 142.5)
Game 2: Cleveland State 80-78 (Cleveland State +1, over 141.5)
Last year: Oakland 2-1 SU/ATS, 2-1 O/U
The Vikings are the #1 team in conference play, leading Wright State by one game (they split their season series). Cleveland State also only has one bad loss so far this year, which came in a 36-point defeat to Wright State. In their second and only other conference loss, the Vikings were up by 13 points with two minutes left and outright lost to Milwaukee. The Vikings are the real deal in this conference this year, and I was surprised they were getting some points on the road vs. a low end Grizzlies team. Keep an eye out for this Vikings team come March, as they just might end up getting into the NCAA Tournament. For the Grizzlies, they're simply type of program that beats up on the mediocre-to-bad Horizon League teams.
RECAP: Northern Kentucky Norse (11-8, 9-5) @ Milwaukee Panthers (7-8, 6-7)
- Game 1: Northern Kentucky 87-73 (Northern Kentucky +1, over 139.5)
- Game 2: Northern Kentucky 79-65 (Northern Kentucky +1.5, over 139.5)
- Last year: Northern Kentucky 2-0 SU/AST, 1-1 O/U
I was an idiot in this game and knew I should have taken the better team in the Norse. The Panthers had good stats, sure, but they dominated some bad Horizon League teams en route to skewing their stats. The Norse were a team I had some serious question marks about, if not only because they lost twice at home to IUPUI. But this is the team that has won the Horizon League conference tournament in three of the last four years. The Norse are now rounding into shape. Don’t be surprised if they make it to the big dance.