If the Horizon League men’s basketball tournament proved anything, it’s that the league is as competitive as ever.
Three of the five games at Valparaiso were decided at the buzzer, and the most lopsided game was the championship game between Wright State and Valparaiso, and the 62-54 score masked what a thriller that was.
The tournament could go on for another 100 years and not feature a night as unforgettable as Saturday’s semifinals. ESPN’s video of Miles Dixon’s buzzer-beater has already received more than 23,000 views on YouTube, and the clip of Ryan Broekhoff’s 3-pointer at the buzzer hours later has received more than 22,000.
From a competitive standpoint, the league is strong. Now the question is, “How will it hold up in era of constant league shuffling?” Rumors have abounded since the departure of Butler to the Atlantic 10 — and now perhaps the new Big East — but Horizon League Commissioner Jon LeCrone has revealed few details of the league’s plans.
“I think there’s going to be a lot of change between now and the Final Four or now and the summertime,” said LeCrone last weekend at the Horizon League tournament. “That’s the way we’re going to respond to it. It’s not like we’re just thinking about this. We’ve been thinking about this a long time.”
Donlon’s dad: Bill Donlon Sr., the director of operations for the men’s basketball team and the father of coach Billy Donlon, got some airtime on ESPN on Tuesday during the Horizon League championship game at Valparaiso. Junior forward AJ Pacher ran over Donlon on the bench as he tried to save a ball from going out of bounds.
Donlon Sr., 68, apppeared to be in a lot of pain as he lay on the floor between the bench and the stands, but he waved off his son who had come to check on him and was then seen laughing with trainer Mike Bradbury on TV. Donlon Sr. soon returned to the bench.
Billy Donlon wrote about the incident on Twitter on Wednesday, “Many people have been asking. My dad is doing better. Thank you all for the concern. He’s tough.”
Women’s basketball: The No. 5 seeed Raiders finished the season 12-18 with a 72-56 loss at No. 4 seed Detroit on Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the Horizon League tournament.
Sophomore Kim Demmings averaged 19.6 points per game for the season. That’s a 1.2-point improvement over her freshman season.
Juniors Ivory James (11.2) and KC Elkins (10.6) also averaged in double figures. Sophomore Breanna Stucke averaged 8.9.
The Raiders, coming off two straight 20-win seasons, suffered their first losing season since 2009-10 (11-19).
Baseball: After going 1-3 in a home series against Bryant and Bradley last weekend, the Raiders (5-9) routed Wilmington 25-0 on Tuesday at Nischwitz Stadium. Michael Timm led the offense with four hits, five RBIs and three runs scored.