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Horizon League
Horizon League
Data
Established 1979
Members 10
Sports fielded 19 (9 men's, 10 women's)
Region Great Lakes, United States
States 5 - Illinois, Indiana, Michigan,
Ohio, Wisconsin
Past names Midwestern City Conference
(MCC), 1979-1985,
Midwestern Collegiate Conference
(MCC), 1985-2001
Headquarters Indianapolis, Indiana
Commissioner Jonathan B. LeCrone
Locations
Horizon League map.png

The Horizon League is a ten school, NCAA Division I college athletic conference whose members are located in five of the Midwestern United States.

Contents

Membership

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Joined Nickname Endowment
Butler University Indianapolis, Indiana 1855 Private/Non-sectarian 4,200 1979 Bulldogs 163,900,000
Cleveland State University Cleveland, Ohio 1964 Public 16,245 1994 Vikings 111,443,000
University of Detroit Mercy Detroit, Michigan 1877 Private/Catholic 6,000 1980 Titans 24,275,000
University of Wisconsin–Green Bay Green Bay, Wisconsin 1965 Public 5,800 1994 Phoenix 19,567,000
Loyola University Chicago Chicago, Illinois 1870 Private/Catholic 15,000 1979 Ramblers 373,211,000
University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1956 Public 28,000 1994 Panthers 150,830,000
University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, Illinois 1946 Public 24,541 1994 Flames 194,674,000
Valparaiso University Valparaiso, Indiana 1859 Private/Lutheran 4,000 2007 Crusaders 192,972,000
Wright State University Dayton, Ohio 1964 Public 17,074 1994 Raiders 114,851,000
Youngstown State University Youngstown, Ohio 1908 Public 13,101 2001 Penguins 172,960,000
Locations of current Horizon League full member institutions.
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Former members

Institution Current Conference Years
University of Dayton Atlantic 10 1987–1993
Duquesne University Atlantic 10 1992-1993
University of Evansville Missouri Valley 1979-1994
La Salle University Atlantic 10 1992-1995
Marquette University Big East 1988-1991 (1989-1991 for men's basketball)
Northern Illinois University Mid-American 1994-1997
University of Notre Dame Big East 1982-1986, 1987-1995 (excluding men's basketball)
Oklahoma City University NAIA 1979-1985
Oral Roberts University The Summit League 1979-1987
Saint Louis University Atlantic 10 1981-1991 (1982-1991 for men's basketball)
Xavier University Atlantic 10 1979-1995

Membership timeline

Conference Facilities

School Arena Capacity Year Opened Soccer Stadium Capacity Year Opened
Butler Hinkle Fieldhouse 10,000 [1] 1928 Butler Bowl 7,500 1928
Cleveland State Wolstein Center 13,610 1991 Krenzler Field 1,680 1985
Detroit Calihan Hall 8,295 1952 Titan Soccer Field 500 2007
Green Bay Resch Center (men)
Kress Events Center (women)
9,729
4,018
2002
2007
Aldo Santaga Stadium 3,500 1969
Loyola Joseph J. Gentile Center 5,200 1996 Loyola Soccer Park 500 1996
Milwaukee U.S. Cellular Arena (men)
J. Martin Klotsche Center (women)
10,783
5,000
1950
1977
Engelmann Field 2,200 1973
UIC UIC Pavilion 8,000 1982 Flames Field 1,000 1996
Valparaiso Athletics-Recreation Center 5,000 1984 Brown Field (men)
Eastgate Athletic Complex (women)
5,000
2,500
1919
1983
Wright State Nutter Center 10,449 1990 Alumni Field 1,000 1999
Youngstown State Beeghly Center 6,500 1972 Stambaugh Stadium 10,630 1982

History

Foundation

In May 1978, DePaul University hosted a meeting with representatives from Bradley, Dayton, Detroit, Illinois State, Loyola, Air Force and Xavier in which all agreed in principle that a new athletic conference was needed. Further progress was made through a series of early 1979 meetings in San Francisco, Chicago, and St. Louis that included participation by Butler, Creighton, Marquette and Oral Roberts. On June 16, 1979, the Midwestern City Conference (nicknamed the MCC or Midwestern City 6) was formed by charter members Butler, Evansville, Loyola, Oklahoma City, Oral Roberts and Xavier.[2]

Maturity

In 1980, Detroit joined the conference and the league established its headquarters in Champaign, Illinois. The MCC gained an automatic bid to the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship in 1981, followed by the announcement that St. Louis University would be joining the following season. The University of Notre Dame joined the conference for all sports except basketball and football in 1982. The conference attained automatic qualification for the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship in 1984, and the conference moved its headquarters to Indianapolis. In 1985, the name was altered slightly to Midwestern Collegiate Conference. At that time, the conference brought women's athletics into the fold (which triggered Notre Dame's protest withdrawal), and Oklahoma City dropped out of the NCAA altogether. ESPN began televising the MCC Championship game in 1986, and in 1987 Oral Roberts left the conference while Dayton joined and Notre Dame rejoined. In 1989, the conference received its first at-large bid to the men's basketball tournament and automatic qualification to the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship. The conference won an automatic bid to the NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship in 1991, and the conference lost members Marquette and St. Louis. Duquesne and La Salle joined the MCC in 1992, the same year the conference gained an automatic berth to the NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship. Duquesne and Dayton left the conference in 1993.

Expansion

In 1994, six Mid-Continent Conference members, Cleveland State, Northern Illinois, UIC, Green Bay, Milwaukee and Wright State left to join the Midwestern Collegiate Conference, which remains today the largest non-merger conference expansion in NCAA history.[3][4] For the time being there were 12 league members. Xavier, Notre Dame, and La Salle withdrew the following summer of 1995, followed by Northern Illinois in 1997. The conference changed its name to the Horizon League on June 4, 2001, in part due to the acronym causing confusion between the MCC and the Mid-Continent Conference (which also used the acronym). That year, Youngstown State University came to the Horizon League from the Mid-Con, and on May 17, 2006, Valparaiso University announced it would do the same in 2007.[5] As of 2007, seven of the ten Horizon League members are former members of the Mid-Con (now known as The Summit League).

Horizon League Network

Horizon League Network
Horizon League logo.png
The HLN logo
Format College Sports
Created by Horizon League
Country of origin  United States
No. of episodes Internet
Production
Running time 180 minutes or until game ends
Broadcast
Original channel Syndicated
Picture format 480i
Original airing 2006

In 2006, the conference launched Horizon League Network (HLN) as the centerpiece of a revamped web portal.[6] In partnership with CSTV, the broadband network airs over 200 live events for free on the League's official website. Events include regular season basketball games, tournament matches, archived championships, The Horizon League Report, and other programming from the array of athletics the league sponsors. Its coverage complements events televised on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and members' local sports networks.

The Horizon League and WebStream Productions launched a completely redesigned Horizon League Network [1] website in September 2009. The site, which can be found at www.HorizonLeagueNetwork.tv, serves as a portal to hundreds of live and on-demand videos while giving its users the ability to interact on an array of social media platforms.

Men's Basketball

Horizon League Men's Basketball Tournament Champions

Historic

From 1995 to 2009, the Horizon League sent 22 teams to the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. Those clubs produced ten wins in the last decade, including three "Sweet 16" appearances, making the Horizon League one of only two non-BCS conferences with Sweet 16 participants in at least three of the last five tournaments (2003, 2005, & 2007). The Horizon League received multiple bids nine times, including a conference-best three NCAA Tournament teams in 1998. Four teams from the conference produced Sweet 16 appearances - Loyola (1985), Xavier (1990), Butler (2003 & 2007) and Milwaukee (2005). Since the NCAA began seeding teams in 1979, the highest seed for a Horizon League team has been #4 (Loyola, 1985). The Horizon League currently holds the best winning percentage among non-BCS conferences in the men's NCAA basketball Tournament (.472, 7th overall amongst the 31 Division I conferences), and is one of only two non-BCS conferences with Sweet 16 teams in three of the last five years [7].

Although not Horizon League members at the time, two current Horizon League members claim national championships. In the 1963 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, Loyola defeated two-time defending champ Cincinnati. Before post-season tournaments determined champions, Butler claimed national titles in 1924 and 1929[8].

The League hosted the men's Final Four in 1991, 1997, 2000, 2006 and 2009, and will host again in 2010. It also hosted the women's Final Four in 2005 and 2007. Horizon League commissioner Jonathan B. LeCrone, who is in his 16th year as league commissioner, is also in his final of a five-year term on the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee.[9]

2000s

As stated on their official website, the recent success of Horizon League athletic teams on the national stage heightened the visibility of the league and its member schools, and quickly moved it closer toward its stated goal of becoming one of the nation's top 10 Division I NCAA athletic conferences.

2002-2003

In the men's 2003 NCAA Basketball Tournament, the Horizon League entered two teams for the first time since 1998. Milwaukee earned a 12 seed in its first bid to the tournament since joining the conference, losing by one point to Notre Dame in the first round. Butler gained an at-large bid, also receiving a 12 seed, marking their fifth tournament appearance in seven years. The Butler Bulldogs made it to the Sweet 16, claiming victories over #20 Mississippi State and #14 Louisville before falling to first-seeded #3 Oklahoma. The Bulldogs finished the year ranked #21 in the final ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Poll.

2004-2005

In the men's 2005 NCAA Basketball Tournament, the Horizon League enjoyed one of its best showings ever as 12th seeded Milwaukee marched to the Sweet 16 with victories over #19 Alabama and #7 Boston College before falling to then-#1 and eventual tournament runner-up Illinois. Milwaukee ranked as high as 23rd in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Poll, occurring on the March 7 release, although they were unranked in the final poll released on March 28.[10]

2005-2006

In the 2006 NCAA Basketball Tournament, 11th seeded Milwaukee once again advanced in the Tournament by upsetting the sixth-seeded, #20 Oklahoma 82-74. For the second straight year and third time in the last four years, the league had a team advance past the first round. The Panthers fell to eventual national champion Florida in the second round of the tournament.

2006-2007

In the 2006-2007 basketball season, Butler won the Preseason NIT tournament in Madison Square Garden with wins over in-state rivals Notre Dame and Indiana in the NIT's Midwest regional bracket and then beating #21 Tennessee and #23 Gonzaga in the NIT Final Four in Madison Square Garden. Later, the Bulldogs claimed victory over Purdue in the Wooden Tradition. On February 5, 2007, Butler University became the first school in Horizon League history to be ranked in the Top 10 of the national college basketball polls, as the Bulldogs reached No. 9 and No. 10 in the EPSN/USA Today and AP polls, respectively.[2] The Bulldogs ended their season with a #21 ranking in the final AP poll, a #5 seed in the NCAA tournament and a berth into the Sweet 16 by beating Old Dominion and Maryland before losing to eventual champion Florida. Wright State also made the NCAA tournament as a 14 seed after winning both the Horizon League Tournament Championship and the regular season championship. They fell to 3rd seeded Pittsburgh in the first round.

2007-2008

During the 2007-2008 basketball season, Butler won the Great Alaska Shootout with wins over Michigan, Virginia Tech and Texas Tech, and also claimed wins over Ohio State and Florida State, extending their record against BCS schools to 10-1 since the beginning of the 2006-07 season. The Bulldogs earned a 7 seed in the 2008 NCAA Basketball Tournament, beating South Alabama before falling to Tennessee. Butler finished the season ranked #11 in the AP poll and #14 in the ESPN/USA Today poll. Also, Cleveland State earned a six seed in the NIT, losing in the first round to Dayton.

2008-2009

In the 2008-09 season Cleveland State received the Horizon League's automatic bid to the NCAA Tourney while Butler University received an at-large bid. Butler, a 9 seed, lost in the first round to LSU while 13th seeded Cleveland State upset 4th seeded Wake Forest (and achieved the third biggest upset in NCAA history winning by 17 points) and shocked the nation in the first round of play before falling to the Arizona Wildcats in the second round of tournament play. Butler finished the season ranked #22 in the final AP poll and #25 in the final ESPN/USA Today poll.

Other sports

The Milwaukee baseball team made national headlines during the 1999 College World Series by upsetting #1 ranked Rice in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. In the 2004-2005 academic year, Milwaukee's men's soccer team defeated 16th-ranked San Francisco, while Detroit upset Michigan in women's soccer in their respective NCAA tournaments. Also that year, Butler's men's cross country team finished fourth in the nation at the NCAA Cross-Country Championships, and their own Victoria Mitchell became the first Horizon League athlete to win an individual national title when she captured the 3,000 Meter Steeplechase at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Green Bay also upset 6th-ranked Oregon State in the opening round of the NCAA softball tournament.

Although the league does not sponsor football, Youngstown State plays in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, while Butler and Valparaiso play in the Pioneer League. Men's volleyball is also not sponsored, although Loyola competes in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association.

Notes

External links


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