Horizon League Tournament Final: Wright State at Valparaiso
One good team is not going to be playing in the NCAA Tournament as the Horizon League’s automatic bid is on the line Tuesday night when Wright State plays at Valparaiso.
Wright State finished third in the Horizon’s regular-season standings and has won three straight. It upset No. 2 seed Detroit 56-54 on Saturday. Miles Dixon hit a baseline jumper from behind the backboard as time expired for the win. Detroit had tied the game on Jason Calliste’s 3-pointer with 1:10 to play. Dixon, who led the third-seeded Raiders (21-11) with 14 points off the bench, launched his shot while falling out of bounds and was mobbed by his teammates after it went in. Jerran Young added 12 points for the Raiders, who shot 52 percent from the floor and were 5 of 9 from 3-point range.
Valparaiso is the regular-season champion. It has won five straight and beat Green Bay 70-69 on Saturday as Ryan Broekhoff made a desperation 3-pointer as time expired. Valparaiso had pulled within 68-67 on Matt Kenney’s 3-pointer with 7 seconds left. After Green Bay’s Alec Brown made a free throw, Broekhoff threw up a shot from the right wing while he was falling down. It went in, setting off a raucous celebration on Valpo’s home court. Broekhoff scored 25 points and made five 3-pointers to lead the Crusaders (25-7). They are looking for their first NCAA berth since 2004.
This marks the second straight season the Crusaders have played in the tournament title game as they lost by 20 to Detroit last season. A victory would give the Crusaders 26 wins, setting a new program record for single-season victories.
Valpo swept both meetings with the Raiders this season, winning at the ARC on Jan. 19, 69-63, and in Dayton on Feb. 12, 68-61, closing to within 11-10 of Wright State in the all-time series. The Crusaders own an 8-6 edge since joining the Horizon League. Valpo scored on each of its last 10 possessions to rally from seven points down with seven minutes to play at the ARC, while a 20-point, nine-rebound performance from Kevin Van Wijk led the way in a start-to-finish win in Dayton.
WagerWeb.com trends: Raiders are 4-1-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings in Valparaiso. Raiders are 3-1-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings. Over is 10-4 in the last 14 meetings. Road team is 4-1-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings. Underdog is 5-1-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings.