The doubters said we wouldn’t get here, but playoff basketball has arrived. I am very excited to see some extra-meaningful basketball in these lower conferences. In this tournament, the teams will be reseeded every round. The first two rounds of games will be played on campuses, with the final four of the Horizon conference being played at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis.
This season, Wright St. (-200) has been clearly the best team from start to finish, although the finish has been a little bumpy. Despite being the best team in the conference and having the highest ranking in ratings systems and the NET, Wright St. is the 2 seed in this tournament. Cleveland St. (+400) is the 1 seed here, and has been one of the three best teams in the conference all year. Wright St. needs to win the conference tournament to reach the NCAA Tournament, despite getting close to knocking on the door of an at-large in the NET rankings. Read through the article to get the best bang for your buck, and (hopefully) some cash at the end of the tunnel. There is money to be made in this conference tournament, so let’s get into it!
Kings of the Conference: Wright St. (-200)
Wright St. is the definitive best team in this conference. Despite four conference losses, they have shown a clear dominance led by the best front court in the conference. They are an excellent 3-point shooting team, and do well around the hoop. While they excel in these areas, I would still point to Detroit as having the best offense, but it is splitting hairs. What sets Wright St. apart is their defense and offensive rebounding. They defend the three well, but do not rely on that, and they send their opponent to the free throw line at a very low rate. Teams struggle on offense against them because they are a good defensive rebounding team, and the front court forces difficult shots in and around the key. Finally, the second chance opportunities that they find puts this team over the top. The front court triumvirate of Loudon Love (conference player of the year), Tanner Holden, and Grant Basile have mostly dominated this conference’s bigs on the offensive glass, ranking in the top 25 in the nation for offensive rebounding rate. There is a clear favorite here, and it is the Wright St. Raiders.
Potential Killers: Detroit (+1000)
I really only see two teams capable of winning this tournament, and this is the second team. This basketball team was absolute trash early on, but we hit 2021 and they found an entirely new groove. Much of this coincides with the emergence of freshman 6’11 guard Noah Waterman (you read that right), who missed a bunch of time in the first half of the year. Antoine Davis needed one more person to work off of, and Waterman unlocked this offense to its potential. Since the start of the new year, Torvik has Detroit as the 35th most efficient offense in basketball.Shot selection has greatly improved with much more efficient three point shooting. However, this team has a glaring weakness. It starts with a d and ends with an efense. They are weak defending the three and are not especially good defending around the hoop. They got killed by Wright St. in both regular season matchups, but that was without Waterman. They get Bobby Morris round 1 and should cruise there, and then will face Northern Kentucky, who they never played but should be favored over them. It is a little more difficult to predict there, but I am confident in the new look of this team.
Overrated? Cleveland St
Underrated? Oakland (+1800)
Who is Worth a Bet?: Detroit (+1000) .5u
It is Detroit as explained above. Part of this is not wanting to lay juice on a Wright St. team who has looked vulnerable, and the other teams in this conference do not inspire a similar confidence. Antoine Davis has game-breaking tendencies that can carry the load, and I am excited about a potential rematch with Wright St. I think this number is inflated, and with the perceivably weak path for Detroit, I will happily grab a 10/1 future. GO TITANS
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