March 7, 2009
Complete Release in PDF Format
Championship Bracket in PDF Format
INDIANAPOLIS -- The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has claimed the top seed in the 2009 Speedway Horizon League Women's Basketball Championship for the 10th time in the past 11 seasons. The winner of the League's 10-team tournament earns an automatic berth into the 64-team NCAA Women's Basketball Championship.
Green Bay, 26-3 overall and 18-0 in the Horizon League, becomes just the third team in League history to run the table in conference action and the first to win 18 games. The Phoenix owns a 147-13 (.919) League record over the past 10 seasons, and has won at least 20 contests each year during the stretch.
Green Bay has clinched at least a share of the Horizon League's regular-season title in each of the past 11 campaigns, which ranks as the nation's longest active streak. The Phoenix has also guaranteed itself a 32nd consecutive winning season, dating back to 1977-78.
Butler University (19-10, 14-4) earns the tournament's No. 2 seed after tying its school record for most League wins in a season. The Bulldogs, who won eight straight in December and January, have posted a .500-or-better conference record in each of the past six years.
Cleveland State University (18-12, 12-6), which has improved its League record in each of the past three seasons, earns the tournament's No. 3 seed. The defending tournament-champion Vikings have won 11 of their last 15 affairs.
Valparaiso University (16-13, 10-8), in just its second season as a Horizon League member, earns the tournament's No. 4 seed. The Crusaders knocked off two BCS opponents during non-conference play and have won six of their last nine tilts.
No. 5 Wright State University (14-15, 10-8), No. 6 University of Illinois at Chicago (14-15, 8-10) and No. 7 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (12-17, 7-11) occupy the tourney's next three positions, while No. 8 University of Detroit Mercy (11-18, 7-11), No. 9 Loyola University Chicago (8-20, 3-15) and No. 10 Youngstown State University (3-26, 1-17) sit in the final three spots.
The 2009 Speedway Horizon League Women's Basketball Championship kicks off with two first-round games on Monday -- Loyola at Detroit (7 p.m. ET) and Youngstown State at Milwaukee (8 p.m.).
Wednesday's schedule includes four quarterfinal contests -- the #8/9 winner at Green Bay (8 p.m.), the #7/10 winner at Butler (7 p.m.), UIC at Cleveland State (7 p.m.) and Wright State at Valparaiso (8 p.m.).
Friday's semifinal affairs will be hosted by the highest remaining seed at 5:30 and 8 p.m. local time. Sunday's championship game, on ESPNU at 1 p.m., will be held at the site of the semifinals.
Cleveland State posted a 70-56 win over Wright State in the 2008 Horizon League Tournament finale. The Vikings moved on to the NCAA Championship, while Green Bay received a WNIT berth. The Phoenix has reached postseason play every year since 1998.
2009 SPEEDWAY HORIZON LEAGUE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
First-round games -- Monday, March 9
Game 1 #9 Loyola at #8 Detroit, 7 p.m. ET
Game 2 #10 Youngstown State at #7 Milwaukee, 8 p.m. ET
Quarterfinal games - Wednesday, March 11
Game 3 #8/9 winner at #1 Green Bay, 8 p.m. ET
Game 4 #5 Wright State at #4 Valparaiso, 8 p.m. ET
Game 5 #7/10 winner at #2 Butler, 7 p.m. ET
Game 6 #6 UIC at #3 Cleveland State, 7 p.m. ET
Semifinal games - Friday, March 13
at highest remaining seed
5:30 and 8 p.m. local time
Championship game - Sunday, March 15
at site of semifinals
1 p.m. ET (televised by ESPNU)