Northern Kentucky at Illinois-Chicago, 8:00 PM Eastern, NBC Sportsnet Chicago Plus/espn3
The Flames of Illinois-Chicago still have a real shot at winning or sharing the Horizon League regular season championship, as they will be spending this final weekend of the year hosting the top two teams, Northern Kentucky and Wright State. It starts tonight with a game against the Norse, a team that beat the Flames by 25 points back in December. UIC has only lost two games since that one, and picked up a home win over Detroit last time out. The Flames got a double-double from Jordan Blount in that win, plus 20 points each from Marcus Ottey and Dikembe Dixson.
NKU needs to win their last two games and hope that Wright State slips up at least once if they want to claim the top seed in the Horizon League Tournament, as Wright State holds the tie-breaker edge between the two teams. The Norse did bounce back from their loss last Friday to the Raiders by defeating Youngstown State at home on Monday night. Drew McDonald led the way in that win with 27 points and 12 rebounds. Another big effort from McDonald and his teammates will be needed tonight to pick up the tough road win in Chicago and at least have a shot at the top seed heading into Sunday’s regular season finale.
OTHER NOTES AND HIGHLIGHTED GAMES:
-Seton Hall completed a big win at Providence after having to take about a 12hr break due to a wet floor. It’s a nice road win for the Pirates.
-Utah continues to play well and get another step closer toward the bubble with their win over UCLA last night. The Pac Twelve has about four bubble teams in it, which will make for a very high stakes conference tournament.
-UNC Asheville picked up a big home win over Winthrop, which puts them in the driver’s seat for first place and the right to host the Big South Tournament.
-Arizona State continues to be underwhelming. They picked up another loss at Oregon last night.
-DAYTON AT RHODE ISLAND (Atlantic Ten). Rhody should be able to skate into the top half of the bracket if they hold serve the rest of the way.
-WOFFORD AT EAST TENNESSEE STATE (SoCon). ETSU can clinch at least a share of first place with a win tonight.
-DARTMOUTH AT PENN (Ivy). Penn is locked into a first place battle with Harvard for tops in the Ivy League
-HARVARD AT PRINCETON (Ivy). See above
-OHIO STATE AT INDIANA (Big Ten). Ohio State can still finish atop the Big Ten, but they’ll probably need to win out through the B1G Tourney to end up as a protected seed. Tonight’s road game won’t be easy. Indiana can’t make the dance without the auto-bid, but they have improved throughout the season and are tough to be at home.
-MANHATTAN AT IONA (Metron Atlantic). We love this Rivalry!!