Release  Horizon League ·

Feb. 28, 2009

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INDIANAPOLIS --- Regular-season champion Butler University will be the number-one seed in the 2009 Speedway Horizon League Men's Basketball Championship, which will begin Tuesday (March 3), the League office announced Saturday (Feb. 28).

By earning the top seed, Butler (25-4, 15-3 Horizon League) receives a double-bye in the tournament and will host the second round and semifinals March 6-7 at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The defending League champion Bulldogs clinched the outright title with a 58-56 victory over Cleveland State University in Saturday's regular-season finale. It is Butler's second straight outright regular-season crown after sharing it with Wright State University in 2007.

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (22-9, 13-5) is the number-two seed and also has earned a bye to the semifinals. The Phoenix posted its best regular-season finish since 2004-05 and will be aiming for its first tournament title since its inaugural season in the Horizon League in 1995.

The championship will tip-off Tuesday with four first-round games hosted by higher seeds at campus sites. At 7 p.m. ET, third-seed Cleveland State (21-10, 12-6) will play host to the University of Detroit Mercy (7-22, 2-16), sixth-seed Youngstown State University (11-18, 7-11) will face seventh-seed University of Illinois at Chicago (15-14, 7-11), and fourth-seed Wright State (18-12, 12-6) will host ninth-seed Valparaiso University (9-21, 5-13). Then at 8 p.m. ET, fifth-seed University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (16-13, 11-7) will meet eighth-seed Loyola University Chicago (14-17, 6-12).

Tuesday's winners will advance to Indianapolis for second-round games next Friday (March 6), starting with the Wright State-Valparaiso winner meeting the Milwaukee-Loyola winner at 6 p.m. ET, followed by the Cleveland State-Detroit winner facing the Youngstown State-UIC winner at 8 p.m. ET. All first-round and second-round games will be available live on the Horizon League Network at www.horizonleaguenetwork.tv.

Butler and Green Bay will make their tournament debuts in the semifinals next Saturday. The Bulldogs will host the winner of Friday's first game at 7 p.m. ET, and then Green Bay will face the winner of the other second-round game at 9 p.m. ET. Both semifinal games will be televised live on ESPNU.

The higher-remaining seed earns the right to host the championship game, which will be broadcast live on ESPN on March 10 at 9 p.m. ET as part of "Championship Week."

The top seed has won 15 of the previous 29 League championships, including each of the last four. Butler captured last year's tournament title at Hinkle Fieldhouse as the number-one seed with a 70-55 victory over Cleveland State.

Comprised of 10 public and private institutions of higher learning, the Horizon League is an NCAA Division I athletics conference that sponsors 19 intercollegiate championships and is headquartered in Indianapolis. The League and its member institutions aspire to teach young people, through athletic competition, the value of learning, service to others and personal responsibility.

Horizon League teams have enjoyed national success in a variety of sports in recent years, most notably in men's basketball, in which its teams have advanced to the Regional semi-finals of the NCAA Championship three times in the past six seasons.

2009 Speedway Horizon League Men's Basketball Championship:

Tuesday, March 3 / First Round / at campus sites
Game 1 - #10 Detroit at #3 Cleveland State, 7 p.m. ET (HLN) - Tickets
Game 2 - #7 UIC at #6 Youngstown State, 7 p.m. ET (HLN) - Tickets
Game 3 - #9 Valparaiso at #4 Wright State, 7 p.m. ET (HLN) - Tickets
Game 4 - #8 Loyola at #5 Milwaukee, 8 p.m. ET (HLN) - Tickets

Friday, March 6 / Second Round / at Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis
Game 5 - Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 6 p.m. ET (HLN) - Tickets
Game 6 - Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 8 p.m. ET (HLN) - Tickets

Saturday, March 7 / Semifinals / at Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis
Game 7 - Game 5 winner at #1 Butler, 7 p.m. ET (ESPNU) - Tickets
Game 8 - Game 6 winner vs. #2 Green Bay, 9 p.m. ET (ESPNU) - Tickets

Tuesday, March 10 / Championship / at higher remaining seed
Game 9 - Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)

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