Postseason Preview: Horizon League 1st Rd.

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Welcome to Postseason Preview, the first in what I hope will be many looks at postseason games for the five city college basketball teams. (And beyond.) That's right, while no team in the city had the season its fans were looking for, all of them still are technically alive to play in the postseason (read: CIT for Chicago State, NCAA Tournament for everyone else). So let's get this party started with Loyola and UIC, both of which could see their seasons end on Tuesday night.

You can see the entire Log5 for the Horizon League tournament here. (I even caught a mistake.) Also,  There will be a live-blog on the site tomorrow to talk about all the Horizon League match ups - more from Fanning the Flames. So be sure to check back here to chat!

Loyola at Detroit
Where: Callihan Hall, Detroit, MI
What: Horizon League First Round
When: 6 p.m. CT
Chances: 41% according to Horizon League full season tempo-free statistics
What else you need to know: The numbers suggest that Loyola has a chance in this game. The Horizon League has been flipping upside all season and Detroit is one of the best examples. The Titans offense tends to disappear in spurts and thus makes them vulnerable. Also, for a team with such elite talent like Ray McCallum and Eli Holman the team struggles down the stretch of close games. The Ramblers have gone on the road to Valparaiso and Milwaukee and won this season, so that's not the problem. What is the problem? The fact that Loyola has yet to play a close game against Detroit this season. The Titans won 83-71 and 81-71 during the regular season. Those were the first and third fastest games Loyola played in conference this season. The Ramblers need to slow this game down and grind out a victory.
UIC at Cleveland State
Where: Wolstein Center, Cleveland, OH
What: Horizon League First Round
When: 6 p.m. CT
Chances: 21% according to Horizon League full season tempo-free statistics
What else you need to know: Cleveland State is really good. The Vikings have the Horizon League Player of the Year in Norris Cole and Trevon Harmon, a member of the league's All-Defensive Team. They'll also be motivated because like almost every team in the Horizon the only way Cleveland State is getting a bid to the NCAA Tournament is winning this whole shindig. UIC got pounded both times these two teams played and whether it was at a slow pace (63-49 in 62 possessions at home) or a quicker tempo (83-59 in 70 possessions as CSU) didn't seem to matter. Can UIC beat Cleveland State? Sure. It's just going to take a lot going right, mostly three-point shots dropping, and a lot of grit from a starting lineup that includes three seniors who won't to see their careers end so quickly.

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