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Northern Kentucky extinguishes UIC Flames for Horizon League title and NCAA bid

The Norse return to the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row

Texas Tech Red Raiders guard Davide Moretti shoots the ball against Northern Kentucky Norse guard Jalen Tate in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at BOK Center. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Behind 14 points, four rebounds and four assists from junior Jalen Tate, the No. 2 Northern Kentucky Norse knocked off the No. 4 UIC Flames 71-62 to claim the 2020 Horizon League Championship in Indianapolis on Tuesday night. With the win comes NKU’s third trip in four years to the NCAA tournament.

When UIC knocked off top-seeded Wright State last night 73-56 to advance to the final, the double-bye format of the tournament was rendered useless. The Norse finish the regular season at 23-9, and will pay those that had them at +150 to win the championship before the tip-off of the 2020 event. They also covered the 4.5 point spread on offer this evening.

NKU projects as a team that should avoid Dayton and the First Four with their NET ranking of 152, but they’ll for sure be a No. 14 seed or higher in the NCAA Tournament.

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