Cleveland State Vikings

One-bid leagues vary in protecting top seeds

March Madness has lived up to its name in the Horizon League in recent years. In four of the past five seasons, the top seed has been bounced from the conference tournament, falling short of an NCAA bid after weeks of success.

Out: teams such as Valparaiso in 2016, which won 26 games before losing its Horizon Tournament opener.

In: teams such as Milwaukee in 2014, which finished tied for fifth, then won the conference tourney and received a No. 15 seed in the Big Dance, losing by 20 to Villanova.

The trend continued last weekend when Northern Kentucky, the Horizon's regular-season champion, lost to eighth-seeded Cleveland State in the quarterfinals. It was no...

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