INDIANAPOLIS -- The bracket for the Little Caesars Horizon League men's basketball championship is set after the conclusion of the Horizon League regular season. The Youngstown State men's basketball team is the seventh seed and will play sixth-seeded Detroit, Saturday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m. at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich.
For the fourth time in five seasons, Valparaiso (26-5, 16-2) will be the No. 1 seed at the event, which will be held for the first time at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit from March 5-8.
The championship features nine games with the first six games streaming on ESPN3. Monday's semifinal games will be televised on ESPNU, while Tuesday's championship game will be on either ESPN or ESPN2 with Mike Tirico and Dan Dakich on the call at 7 p.m. EST.
Motor City Madness begins on Saturday, March 5 with four first round games. The first game on Saturday will tip at noon. The four winning teams from Saturday will advance to Sunday's second round with the first game of the doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. The top two seeds in the tournament, Valparaiso and Oakland, begin play on Monday in the semifinals. The Crusaders will play in the first game of the evening starting at 7 p.m.
The semifinal winners will play in the championship game on Tuesday evening.
The men's basketball tournament is returning to a single-site format for the first time since 2002.The 2016 and 2017 championships will be held at Joe Louis Arena, while the final three years will be played at the Detroit Events Center, which is currently under construction in downtown Detroit.
Valparaiso has an all-time record of 10-6 in the Horizon League championship and with the double bye into the semifinals this season has reached the semifinal round six of the nine seasons they have played in the Horizon League. The Crusaders won the Horizon League Tournament in 2013 and 2015.
Oakland (21-10, 13-5) is the No. 2 seed in the tournament. The Golden Grizzlies have been in the Horizon League for three seasons and have improved their seed in the championship every year. Oakland was the No. 3 seed last season, garnering a first round bye for the first time since joining the League. The No. 2 seed has not been able to take advantage of its double bye in recent seasons. Three of the last four years, the No. 2 seed has been one-and-done in the HL tournament and only once in the last 11 seasons has the No. 2 seed won the tournament (2011; Butler).
The first round will open on Saturday at noon with fourth-seed Green Bay (19-12, 11-7) facing No. 9 Cleveland State (9-22, 4-14). The next game of the day, with tip scheduled for 2:30 p.m., is fifth-seed Milwaukee (19-12, 10-8) against eighth-seed Northern Kentucky (9-20, 5-13). The other side of the bracket begins at 5 p.m. with No. 3 Wright State (19-12, 13-5) taking on No. 10 UIC (5-24, 3-15). The opening round closes with the final game of the day pitting sixth-seed Detroit (15-14, 9-9) against No. 7 Youngstown State (11-20, 6-12).
Ticket options for Motor City Madness can be found at http://motorcitymadness.horizonleague.org/tickets.
2016 Little Caesars Men's Basketball Championship
Saturday, March 5 - First Round
12:00 p.m. - Game 1: (9) Cleveland State vs. (4) Green Bay
2:30 p.m. - Game 2: (8) Northern Kentucky vs. (5) Milwaukee
5:00 p.m. - Game 3: (10) UIC vs. (3) Wright State
7:30 p.m. - Game 4: (7) Youngstown State vs. (6) Detroit
Sunday, March 6 - Second Round
1:00 p.m. - Game 5: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner
3:30 p.m. - Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner
Monday, March 7 - Semifinals
7:00 p.m. - Game 7: (1) Valparaiso vs. Game 5 winner
9:30 p.m. - Game 8: (2) Oakland vs. Game 6 winner
Tuesday, March 8 - Championship
7:00 p.m. - Game 9: Championship Game