The Horizon League men’s basketball tournament tips off on Tuesday, and one of 11 participants will earn a ticket to the Big Dance. We’ll take a look at all of the pertinent 2023 Horizon League Tournament odds (courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook), schedule, and how you can watch. It all begins on Feb. 28, but Youngstown State — the favorite win the tournament — won’t take the court until March 2.
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Horizon League Tournament Odds
As previously referenced, Jerrod Calhoun’s group is +165 to advance to March Madness. That’s equivalent to a 42.55% implied probability. However, one longshot Horizon League tournament odds has recently cashed — 2020-21 Northern Kentucky (+1000). Granted, the Norse never played in the NCAA tournament, as it was cancelled that season because of COVID-19.
The Penguins boast the top-rated adjusted offensive efficiency (per KenPom) in conference play. They’re led by senior guard Dwayne Cohill, who’s averaging 17.8 points per game while showcasing the 51st-ranked true shooting percentage nationally. But their half-court defense is a bit of a concern, especially against motion offenses.
Behind Youngstown State are Northern Kentucky and Cleveland State, respectively. The Norse sport the Horizon League’s premier adjusted defensive efficiency (AdjD) rating, which is driven by their ball pressure. Senior guard Xavier Rhodes & Co. are forcing the 12th-most takeaways across D-I. Moreover, the Vikings slot behind them in the AdjD category. Their success also stems from producing turnovers, along with a stout interior defense.
Further down the list, the Titans appear to be the most appealing longshot of the bunch. Antonie Davis, who is tallying the highest scoring average in college basketball (28.1 ppg), stuck around in Detroit after rumors swirled of him transferring to BYU in the offseason. Davis and his father-turned-coach, Mike Davis, help propel the 52nd-rated AdjO in the country.
Despite getting swept by Youngstown State, their perimeter-oriented attack would give them fits if the 6-foot-1 senior guard can catch fire. He combined for 5-of-22 shooting (22.7%) against the Penguins this season.
Although the official conference website provides a bracket, it’s of only some use. The format is a little odd, calling for reseeding in the quarterfinals. Youngstown State, Milwaukee, Cleveland State, and Northern Kentucky all have first-round byes. Meanwhile, Detroit Mercy would could face two vulnerable teams (Mastadons and Vikings) on a potential trip to the semis.
The reseeding of the bracket makes it difficult to project and analyze matchups, though. Mind you, the one-seed has won the league tournament just once since 2016.
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Horizon League Tournament Schedule
- First Round: Tuesday, Feb. 28
- Quarterfinals: Thursday, March 2
- Semifinals: Monday, March 6
- Horizon League Championship: Tuesday, March 7
How To Watch
The first two rounds are available for viewing on the ESPN+ streaming platform. On March 6, viewers can catch the Horizon League tournament semifinals on a pair of ESPN networks. The title game will be shown on ESPN or ESPN2 — March 7 at 7 p.m. ET. Here is the rest of the conference tournament schedule.
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