Tuesday Truths - Horizon League and Great West (3/2)

Welcome to March! And the final edition of Horizon League and Great West Conference Tuesday Truths. Don't worry though, I'll be sure to update the Great West numbers next Tuesday for all of the fans of that historic conference. (I mean c'mon, there is a CIT bid on the line!) On a more serious note, Storming the Floor did a great interview with GWC commissioner Ed Grom. You should check it out. Now onto the numbers!

Horizon League: Team - Efficiency Margin:

  1. Butler - .20
  2. Wright State - .09
  3. Detroit - .04
  4. Green Bay - .02
  5. Milwaukee - .02
  6. Valparaiso - .00
  7. Cleveland State - .00
  8. Loyola - (-.10)
  9. Youngstown State - (-.12)
  10. UIC - (-.15)

And some thoughts (in handy pocket-sized bullet points!):

  • Being Valparaiso right now is really tragic. So imagine you're the Crusaders. You just had a breakout season behind some super talented transfers in Brandon Wood and Cory Johnson. You had a legitimate shot at taking the 3 seed in conference - if you could beat Butler without Gordon Hayward - and you lost. Your punishment for such an egregious act? Playing a Detroit team that is woefully under-seeded because of multiple close losses. Life's tough sometimes.
  • Oh yeah, Butler. Ho hum. The Bulldogs have been at this efficiency margin for about the entire season. They had the best offense in conference - by almost a tenth of a point per possession over Cleveland State - and the best defense by even more. This team deserves the pretty seed they'll get is they cruise through the conference tournament. Which, conveniently, is on their home court.
  • You know who else had it rough? Youngstown State. The Penguins were the second unluckiest team during conference play. Of course that means they drew having to play Green Bay at Green Bay tonight. That's a disaster. Want to know what? Green Bay's efficiency margin at home is a ridiculous .10. That's five times their total efficiency in conference.
  • You can check out my Log5 predictions to see where I think the conference tournament is going to go. Suffice it to say, Detroit-Valparaiso is the game to watch. Maybe one of the bottom three pulls an upset, but it'd be pretty impressive if they do.

Onto the Great West!

Great West - Team - Efficiency Margin:

  1. South Dakota - .08
  2. Houston Baptist - .05
  3. N.J.I.T. - .05
  4. Texas-Pan American - .00
  5. North Dakota - (-.02)
  6. Utah Valley - (-.06)
  7. Chicago State - .(-.09)

And cue the thoughts:

  • Utah Valley has been the big disappointment in conference. The Wolverines were expected to be amongst the top teams in conference. Instead they're floundering at the bottom. Of course, the same can be said for Chicago State. The Cougars lost a lot of talent, but the consensus pre-season was that they'd be able to replace it. Through 11 conference games that hasn't been the case.
  • We're working with a small sample size for N.J.I.T. because a number of the Highlanders games have been rescheduled due to snow. They're not at the level of South Dakota, but they've taken care of business at home this season.
  • The conference tournament is going to be wide open. Any of the top 3 teams could win. Also, considering the talent on those bottom 2 teams, a dramatic run could happen. Make sure you keep tabs on it. These schools are going to be hungry for postseason play. While I made a joke earlier about the CollegeInsider.com Tournament I guarantee whichever Great West team qualifies will be ecstatic to play.

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