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Feb. 27, 2010

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INDIANAPOLIS - Regular-season champion Butler is the number-one seed in the 2010 Speedway Horizon League Men's Basketball Championship, which will begin Tuesday (March 2).

By earning the top seed, #15/10 Butler (26-4, 18-0 Horizon League) receives a double-bye in the tournament and will host the second round and semifinals Friday and Saturday (March 5-6) at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The Bulldogs completed only the fourth undefeated conference season in League history -- and first since 1995-96 -- with a 74-69 victory at Valparaiso on Saturday. Butler, which is on an 18-game winning streak, has won or shared the last four regular-season titles and is looking for its first tournament championship since 2008.

Wright State (19-11, 12-6) is the number-two seed and also has earned a bye to the semifinals. The Raiders, who have won eight of their last 11, last won the League championship in 2007.

The championship will tip-off Tuesday with four first-round games hosted by the higher seeds. At 7 p.m. ET, defending champion and fifth-seed Cleveland State (15-16, 10-8) will play host to eighth-seed Loyola (14-15, 5-13). Then, at 8 p.m. ET, third-seed Green Bay (20-11 11-7) will host 10th-seed Youngstown State (8-21, 2-16), fourth-seed Milwaukee (18-13, 10-8) will face ninth-seed UIC (8-21, 3-15) and sixth-seed Valparaiso (15-16, 10-8) will host seventh-seed Detroit (18-13, 9-9).

Friday's second-round doubleheader will start with the Green Bay-Youngstown State winner meeting the Valparaiso-Detroit winner at 6 p.m. ET. The Milwaukee-UIC winner will face the Cleveland State-Loyola winner at 8 p.m. All first-round and second-round games will be available live on the Horizon League Network at HorizonLeagueNetwork.tv.

Butler and Wright State will make their tournament debuts in the semifinals next Saturday. The Raiders will face the winner of Friday's first game at 5:15 p.m. ET, and Butler will host the winner of the other second-round game at 8 p.m. The first semifinal will be shown live on ESPN360.com and tape-delayed at 10 p.m. ET on ESPNU, following a live broadcast of the second semifinal on the network.

The higher remaining seed earns the right to host the championship game, which will be broadcast live by ESPN on March 9 at 9 p.m. ET. The winner receives the Horizon League's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The top seed has won only 15 of the previous 30 League championships. Last year third-seed Cleveland State completed a four-game run to the title with a 57-54 upset of top-seed Butler in the championship game.

2010 Speedway Horizon League Men's Basketball Championship:

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

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

Saturday, March 6 / Semifinals / Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis
Game 7 - Game 5 winner vs. #2 Wright State, 5:15 p.m. ET (ESPN360.com - live / ESPNU - tape-delay at 10 p.m. ET)
Game 8 - Game 6 winner at #1 Butler, 8 p.m. ET (ESPNU - live)

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

Tickets for first-round games may be purchased through the athletic ticket offices of the host institutions.

Tickets to the second round and semifinals are available at the Butler Box Office in Hinkle Fieldhouse (510 W. 49th St., Indianapolis) or via TicketMaster at 1-800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com.

Tags: All Teams - Men's Basketball
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