Jan. 12, 2010
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Headlines & Storylines
Thursday's schedule is highlighted by a re-match of last year's Horizon League championship game as NR/#24 Butler (12-4, 4-0) hosts Cleveland State (7-10, 3-2) at Hinkle Fieldhouse, where the Vikings defeated top-seeded Butler 57-54 for their first League title last March. The League-leading Bulldogs enter the contest on a four-game winning streak, while Cleveland State has won three straight to stand fifth in the League.
The League's Friday night game of the week on ESPNU continues this week with a Chicagoland rivalry as UIC plays host to Loyola. Tip-off at the UIC Pavilion is 9 p.m. ET.
This week's HLN TV Game of the Week is Cleveland State at Valparaiso on Saturday. Game time from the Athletics-Recreation Center is 2 p.m. ET.
Horizon League teams have proven they can beat some of the nation's best this season. Butler has defeated Ohio State (11-5) and Northwestern (12-3) , while Green Bay upset current #13/16 Wisconsin (13-3). Those three Big Ten teams have a combined record of 36-11 with three of their losses coming to League teams.
Home teams have won 21 of 28 League games (.750) so far this season. Butler has posted two of the seven wins by road teams after sweeping its Wright State/Detroit trip last week, while five other teams have one road victory apiece.
Eight of the 28 League games to date have been decided by single digits. Four have had two- or one-point margins, including both of Sunday's games, one of which went to overtime (Butler at Detroit).
After having only one 30-point scoring performance in the League in December (and four total), three players scored 30 or more last week. UIC's Jeremy Buttell scored 31 points Thursday in a loss at Youngstown State, Valparaiso's Cory Johnson had 31 Friday in a loss at Detroit, and YSU's DeAndre Mays netted 30 Saturday in the Penguins' victory over Loyola.
The NCAA's first RPI numbers of the season were released Monday, with two Horizon League teams among the top 100. Butler stands at 17th, while Green Bay is 90th.