Horizon League Basketball Tournament: Schedule, Odds, Predictions, Analysis

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Oakland's Keaton Hervey, left, grabs a rebound against Michigan State's Mady Sissoko during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in East Lansing, Mich. Michigan State won 67-54.
(AP Photo/Al Goldis)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Mar 07, 2024, 7:07 PM
  • The Horizon League Tournament will run March 5-12.
  • Youngstown State (+180) is favored to win the conference.
  • Oakland, the No. 1 seed, is +250.

The Horizon League men’s basketball tournament kicks off on March 5. BetMGM has college basketball odds for this conference tournament and all the other 2024 NCAA conference tournaments ahead of March Madness

Like many low-major conferences, the league desperately wants to get one of its top seeds into the NCAA Tournament. As a result, the league uses a non-fixed bracket system for its conference tournaments that insulates top seeds against upsets.

Higher seeds host games on campus during the first two rounds. In addition, the game pairings are reseeded after the first and second rounds.

Because of this, it’s much more possible for any of the top three seeds to go the entire tournament without having to play another top team, depending on how many upsets there are. 

Horizon League Conference Tournament Schedule

The Horizon League conference tournament runs March 5-12, with the final two rounds played at Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis.

  • Game 1: No. 11 Detroit Mercy at No. 6 Milwaukee (March 5)
  • Game 2: No. 10 IUPUI at No. 7 Cleveland State (March 5)
  • Game 3: No. 9 Robert Morris at No. 8 Purdue Fort Wayne (March 5)
  • Game 4: TBD at No. 1 Oakland (March 7)
  • Game 5: TBD at No. 2 Youngstown State (March 7)
  • Game 6: TBD at No. 3 Green Bay (March 7)
  • Game 7: No. 5 Northern Kentucky at No. 4 Wright State (March 7)
  • Game 8: Highest Remaining Seed vs. Lowest Remaining Seed (March 11)
  • Game 9: Middle Seed 1 vs. Middle Seed 2 (March 11)
  • Game 10: Game 8 Winner vs. Game 9 Winner (March 12)

Horizon League Conference Tournament Odds

TeamsOdds
Youngstown State +200
Oakland+260
Wright State+275
Purdue Fort Wayne+1200
Green Bay+1200
Northern Kentucky+1400
Milwaukee +2000
Cleveland State+2000
Robert Morris+15000
Detroit Mercy+25000
IUPUI+25000

Horizon League Conference Tournament Prediction

Oakland (+250) will win the Horizon League and earn the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. 

The Grizzlies are a combined 3-1 against the other two top seeds in the tournament and will enjoy superior advantages from the reseeding process. I believe +250 is too rich for the fundamentals with the team.

Here are a couple of other notes to keep in mind:

No. 4 Seeds Living Their Best Life

At +275, Wright State is noticeably high in the table for a team that will have to play a top five conference team by the second round.

Online sportsbooks obviously don’t make bid odds decisions off simple trends. However, it is interesting that the Horizon League tournament has been won in each of the last two years by the No. 4 seeds. 

Is this a coincidence? Absolutely. Should you think about Wright anyway? Perhaps. After all, the +275 for a No. 4 seed is telling you to take the Raiders seriously. 

Green Bay Fades Down the Stretch

The other side of the coin in the Horizon League tournament odds is Green Bay (18-13), which led the conference with a 12-3 record on Feb. 10, but lost four of their last five to end the season.

Green Bay’s status as a mid-table +1200 bet – tied with No. 8 seed Purdue Fort Wayne – telegraphs exactly what BetMGM’s traders think of Green Bay’s championship chances. Bettors should probably stay away.

  • 2023-24 Horizon League Standings
    Team Conf. Wins Conf. Losses Win Pct. Total Wins Total Losses Win Pct.
    Oakland 15 5 .750 20 11 .645
    Youngstown St. 14 6 .700 22 9 .710
    Wright St. 13 7 .650 18 13 .581
    Green Bay 13 7 .650 18 13 .581
    Milwaukee 12 8 .600 17 14 .548
    N. Kentucky 12 8 .600 17 14 .548
    PFW 11 9 .550 20 11 .645
    Clev. St. 11 9 .550 18 13 .581
    Robert Morris 6 14 .300 10 21 .323
    IUPUI 2 18 .100 6 25 .194
    Detroit 1 19 .050 1 30 .032
  • Horizon League Tournament Champions
    Year Champion Runner-Up Score
    1980 Oral Roberts Loyola 103–93
    1981 Oklahoma City Xavier 82–76
    1982 Evansville Loyola 81–72
    1983 Xavier Loyola 82–76
    1984 Oral Roberts Xavier 82–76
    1985 Loyola Oral Roberts 89–83
    1986 Xavier Saint Louis 74–66
    1987 Xavier Saint Louis 81–69
    1988 Xavier Detroit 122–96
    1989 Xavier Evansville 85–78
    1990 Dayton Xavier 98–89
    1991 Xavier Saint Louis 81–68
    1992 Evansville Butler 95–76
    1993 Evansville Xavier 80–69
    1994 Detroit Evansville 72–63
    1995 Green Bay Wright State 73–59
    1996 Northern Illinois Detroit 84–63
    1997 Butler UIC 69–68
    1998 Butler Green Bay 70–51
    1999 Detroit Butler 72–65
    2000 Butler Detroit 62–43
    2001 Butler Detroit 53–38
    2002 UIC Loyola 76–75 (OT)
    2003 Milwaukee Butler 69–52
    2004 UIC Milwaukee 65–62
    2005 Milwaukee Detroit 59–58
    2006 Milwaukee Butler 87–71
    2007 Wright State Butler 60–55
    2008 Butler Cleveland State 70–55
    2009 Cleveland State Butler 57–54
    2010 Butler Wright State 70–45
    2011 Butler Milwaukee 59–44
    2012 Detroit Valparaiso 70–50
    2013 Valparaiso Wright State 62–54
    2014 Milwaukee Wright State 69–63
    2015 Valparaiso Green Bay 54–44
    2016 Green Bay Wright State 78–69
    2017 Northern Kentucky Milwaukee 59–53
    2018 Wright State Cleveland State 74–57
    2019 Northern Kentucky Wright State 77–66
    2020 Northern Kentucky UIC 71–62
    2021 Cleveland State Oakland 80–69
    2022 Wright State Northern Kentucky 72–71
    2023 Northern Kentucky Cleveland State 63–61
  • Most Horizon League Tournament Championships
    Team Championships Years
    Butler 7 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2008, 2010, 2011
    Xavier 6 1983, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991
    Milwaukee 4 2003, 2005, 2006, 2014
    Northern Kentucky 4 2017, 2019, 2020, 2023
    Wright State 3 2007, 2018, 2022
    Detroit Mercy 3 1994, 1999, 2012
    Evansville 3 1982, 1992, 1993
    Cleveland State 2 2009, 2021
    Green Bay 2 1995, 2016
    UIC 2 2002, 2004
    Valparaiso 2 2013, 2015
    Oral Roberts 2 1980, 1984
    Loyola 1 1985
    Dayton 1 1990
    Northern Illinois 1 1996
    Oklahoma City 1 1981

Conference Tournament Previews & Predictions

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.