Everything is set in stone and Valpo men’s basketball is not happy about it.
The Horizon League men’s basketball tournament will be played in Joe Lewis Arena in Detroit for the next five seasons. The tournament has been named Motor City Madness and will have the same format as it did in previous year.
The league has partnered with Olympia Entertainment and is expected to move the tournament into the new Detroit Events Center.
Olympia Entertainment President Tom Wilson praised the city of Detroit’s evolution thanks to Dan Gilbert, who has moved 12,000 workers from Cleveland to Detroit.
No matter what Wilson says about the development of the tournament, Valpo men’s basketball is getting the short end of the stick.
“It does take pressure off the regular season,” Valpo forward Alec Peters said. “We don’t get to host, but they kept the double bye. It would be nice to host, but it is exciting to see their plan. There are some good things going on, and there are lots of good ideas.”
Peters should be upset that his team won’t host. The Crusaders had a big advantage when other teams had to come into the ARC for postseason action.
The regular season will lose some of its luster due to Oakland and Detroit automatically having home-court advantage for the next five seasons.There is nothing more exhilarating than finding out who will host the conference based on the last regular-season game.
Also, the plans of Olympia Entertainment and the Horizon League had no chance of impressing me, because league tournaments are overrated.
From 1998-2011, the Big Ten tournament only sold out the championship game three times.
I went to the Big Ten tournament in 2013. My friend and I bought tickets in the upper deck of the United Center. I don’t remember who played, but I do remember begging to leave after the first half of the first game.
The United Center was a ghost town, which made the games boring. I can easily say those were the worst games that I have ever been to.
The biggest fear the Horizon League has is lack of interest of the Motor City Madness. Simply relying on Oakland and Detroit’s rivalry won’t cut it. They need constant fan attention from every team, which is almost impossible to do.
The atmosphere of the host cities was one of the big positives of the Horizon League tournament.
Before I came to Valpo in fall of 2013, I was attending Ball State University. I tuned into that year’s Horizon League semifinal between Valpo and Green Bay, I was shocked at the craziness of the crowd.
Last year’s tournament was surreal. Even my father, who doesn’t watch college basketball, bought tickets to one of the games.
The Horizon League should not try to be the Big Ten. It should have continued to be what it was.
The views expressed are those of the editor and not necessarily of The Torch. Contact Tom Mantice at firstname.lastname@example.org.