Phear the Phoenix

Fans of the Green Bay Phoenix men's basketball program


Green Bay controls its destiny for #2 seed

Posted by Brian Dickmann on February 22, 2017 at 4:35 PM

With the final weekend of the regular season upon us there is still plenty to play for in the Horizon League. All but bottom-dwelling Cleveland State and Youngstown State will play twice this weekend to sort out the final standings and the subsequent seeding at the conference tournament that go along with it.

Green Bay currently finds itself alone in third place with an 11-5 conference record, a game ahead of the fourth place tie between Wright State and Northern Kentucky and a game behind second place Oakland. Valparaiso leads the conference at 13-3 – a game ahead of Oakland and two games ahead of Green Bay with just two games remaining.

If the Horizon League Tournament started today, Green Bay would be the #3 seed and face #6 UIC in the second round of the tournament at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit thanks to tiebreakers. UIC is locked into the #6 seed after Green Bay’s 87-79 victory over the Flames on Tuesday night.

The Phoenix have clinched a first round bye in the conference tournament and at least the #5 seed and still have a small chance – 7% according to – of winning the regular season title but would need to win its final two games while having Valparaiso lose both of their final games.

Green Bay does, however, control its own destiny for the #2 seed at Motor City Madness. The Horizon League went away from its longstanding tradition of protecting the top two seeds with a double-bye to the semifinals but still offers an incentive for finishing in the top two.

Seeds one through six receive a first round bye. The top two seeds theoretically play an easy second round game against a lesser opponent on Saturday night, March 4th against either the #7, #8, #9, or #10 seed and then get a day of rest between the second round of the tournament and the semifinals on Monday night.

Seeds three through six play their second round games against each other on Sunday, March 5th before facing the two winners of the previous day in the semifinals. Seeds three through six and must win three games in three nights in order to win the tournament.

The top six seeds have all clinched a first round bye, but the seeding is still to be determined. Only UIC is locked into their seeding (#6 seed) at this point.

Valparaiso (13-3) can clinch the regular season title outright and the #1 seed with two wins on the road this weekend at Wright State and Northern Kentucky. They can clinch at least a share of the regular season title on Friday night with a win against the Raiders but would need a win and an Oakland loss at Green Bay to clinch on Friday due to the Golden Grizzlies owning the tiebreaker thanks to their season sweep of the Crusaders. Valpo has already clinched at least the #3 seed and will clinch the #2 seed with a win or a Green Bay loss on Friday night.

Oakland (12-4) needs two wins in Wisconsin and at least one Valparaiso loss this weekend in order to clinch the #1 seed and a share of the regular season title. The Grizzlies travel to Green Bay on Friday night in a massive game (6:00, ESPNU) that could determine who gets the #2 seed. Oakland, which has already clinched at least the #4 seed, would clinch the #2 seed with a win over Green Bay and keep the pressure on Valpo going into the regular season’s final day on Sunday. They are eliminated from regular season title and #1 seed consideration with a loss and a Valpo win on Friday night.

Green Bay (11-5) plays its final two games of the regular season at home this weekend against Oakland and Detroit. The Phoenix can clinch the #3 seed on Friday with a win against the Golden Grizzlies and either a Wright State or Northern Kentucky loss. If the Phoenix win twice this weekend they will be the #2 seed at the Horizon League Tournament.

Wright State (10-6) and Northern Kentucky (10-6) are jostling for the #4 and #5 seeds at this point with the Norse holding the inside edge thanks to their season sweep over the Raiders. NKU will clinch at least the #4 seed with a win over UIC on Friday and a Wright State loss.

Tiebreakers could play a large factor like last year when Oakland clinched the #2 seed over Wright State despite having an equal 13-5 record. The Grizzlies went 2-0 against the Raiders last year giving them the head-to-head advantage which is the conference’s first tiebreaker.

If the teams split, the second tiebreaker is record against the first place team in the standings (Valparaiso) and if still tied, working your way down the standings in order until a winner can be determined. If teams split their season series, the tiebreaker would be the team’s record against the first place team. Only Oakland swept the Crusaders this season. Wright State and Northern Kentucky will each face Valparaiso this weekend.

If the season ended today, here is how the tournament bracket would look:

The race for the top two seeds


Head to head records:



vs Oakland (0-2)

vs Green Bay (1-1)

vs Wright State (1-0, final meeting 2/24)


Green Bay

vs Oakland (1-0, final meeting 2/24)

vs Wright State (1-1)

vs Northern Kentucky (1-1)

vs Valparaiso (1-1)



vs Green Bay (0-1, final meeting 2/24)

vs Wright State (1-1)

vs Northern Kentucky (2-0)

vs Valparaiso (2-0)


Northern Kentucky

vs Green Bay (1-1)

vs Wright State (2-0)

vs Oakland (0-2)

vs Valparaiso (0-1, final meeting 2/26)


Wright State

vs Green Bay (1-1)

vs Northern Kentucky (0-2)

vs Oakland (1-1)

vs Valparaiso (0-1, final meeting 2/24)



Here are the five teams remaining schedules:



2/24 at Wright State

2/26 at Northern Kentucky



OAKLAND (12-4)

2/24 at Green Bay (ESPNU)

2/26 at Milwaukee


GREEN BAY (11-5)

2/24 vs Oakland (ESPNU)

2/26 vs Detroit Mercy (American Sports Network)



2/24 vs Valparaiso

2/26 vs UIC



2/24 vs UIC

2/26 vs Valparaiso





Categories: Motor City Madness, Horizon League Tournament

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