College Basketball Conference Tournament Breakdown: The Horizon League

T.R. PetersonCorrespondent IFebruary 27, 2011

Matt Howard looks to help Butler grab the Horizon League's automatic bid.
Matt Howard looks to help Butler grab the Horizon League's automatic bid.Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Dates:  March 1, 4-5, 8

Bracket: Horizon League

Sites:  The first round is hosted by higher-seeded teams while quarterfinal and semifinal action will take place at UW-Milwaukee.  The championship will be played on the campus of the highest remaining seed.

Television:  Semifinals on ESPNU; Championship on ESPN

Tourney Fact:  The Horizon league gives a double bye to its top two seeds.

Favorite:  Even though Butler (21-9, 13-5) is the No. 2 seed in this tournament, it's hard to pick against a team with this much postseason experience.  The Bulldogs have reeled off seven wins in a row to end the regular season and seem to have things figured out.  Look for Matt Howard and Company to fight their way back into the NCAA tournament.

Best of the RestUW-Milwaukee (18-12, 13-5) and Cleveland St. (24-6, 13-5) shared the Horizon League title with Butler and will look to supplant the Bulldogs as conference tournament champions.  UW-Milwaukee swept Butler during the regular season and—as the conference host—can’t be ignored.  Cleveland St. has struggled heading into the postseason, dropping four of its last seven.  However, Norris Cole has the ability to carry the Vikings to the title.

Sleeper:  Don’t be surprised if you see Detroit (16-15, 10-8) sneak into the semifinals.  The Titans have been playing better basketball as of late.  This is a young, talented team lead by Ray McCallum Jr. that will play hard with nothing to lose.

Also, check out Conference Tourney Breakdown: The Big South Conference