The Horizon League will hold its annual men’s basketball tournament, with the winner getting an automatic bid to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The conference features 12 teams, including Cleveland State, Detroit Mercy, Green Bay, Illinois-Chicago, IPFW, IUPUI, Milwaukee, Northern Kentucky, Oakland, Robert Morris, Wright State and Youngstown State.
The 2021 tournament begins Feb. 25 and runs through March 9.
The Horizon League started holding men’s basketball tournaments in 1980. The conference was known as the Midwestern City Conference from 1980 to 1985, and the Midwestern Collegiate Conference from 1985 to 2001.
Here are the past winners of the Horizon League.
2021: CLEVELAND STATE
Cleveland State earned its first automatic bid since 2009. The team beat Oakland, 80-69.
2020: NORTHERN KENTUCKY
Northern Kentucky repeated as Horizon League champions in 2020. The Norse defeated Illinois-Chicago, 71-62. Jalen Tate was named tournament MVP.
2019: NORTHERN KENTUCKY
Northern Kentucky won its second Horizon League title in 2019. The Norse defeated Wright State, 77-66. Drew McDonald was the MVP.
2018: WRIGHT STATE
Wright State took home the Horizon League title in 2018. It defeated Cleveland State, 74-57. Grant Benzinger won the MVP.
2017: NORTHERN KENTUCKY
Northern Kentucky took home its first Horizon League title in 2017. It defeated Milwaukee, 59-53. Lavone Holland II was named the MVP.
2016: GREEN BAY
Green Bay won the conference tournament in 2016. It defeated Wright State, 78-69. Jordan Fouse was named MVP.
Valparaiso was a No. 1 seed heading into the tournament, defeating the No. 2 seed Green Bay, 54-44. Alec Peters was named MVP.
Milwaukee won the Horizon League title in 2014. It defeated Wright State, 69-63. Jordan Aaron was named MVP of the tournament.
Valparaiso won its first Horizon League title, 62-54, over Wright State. Erik Buggs was named the tournament’s MVP.
2012: DETROIT MERCY
Detroit Mercy won by 20 points in the conference title game in 2012 against Valparaiso. Ray McCallum Jr. was named the MVP of the tournament.
Butler won its last Horizon League title before leaving the conference. The Bulldogs defeated Milwaukee, 59-44. Matt Howard won the MVP award for the second straight year. Butler finished its Horizon League tenure with seven championships.
Butler got back to the title game and slammed Wright State in 2010, 70-45. Matt Howard was named the MVP of the tournament.
2009: CLEVELAND STATE
Cleveland State got revenge on Butler the following season, winning 57-54. Cedric Jackson was named the MVP of the tournament.
Butler defeated Cleveland State, 70-55, in the 2008 conference title game. Mike Green was named the MVP of the tournament.
2007: WRIGHT STATE
Wright State edged out Butler in the conference title in 2007, 60-55. DaShaun Wood was named MVP of the tournament.
Milwaukee won its third conference tournament in four years in 2006, defeating Butler, 87-71. Adrian Tigert was named the tournament’s MVP.
Milwaukee returned to the conference championship for the third straight year. They defeated Detroit, 59-58. Joah Tucker was named MVP.
Illinois-Chicago won a second title in 2004. The Flames defeated Milwaukee, 65-62. Armond Williams was named MVP.
Milwaukee got its hands on a conference title in 2003. It defeated Butler, 69-52. Clay Tucker was named MVP.
Illinois-Chicago became the lowest seed to win the conference title. The No. 6-seeded Flames defeated Loyola in overtime, 76-75. Cedrick Banks was named the MVP.
Butler won its fourth conference title in five years. In 2001, the Bulldogs beat Detroit Mercy again 53-38. LaVall Jordan was named MVP.
Butler would get back to the top with a victory over Detroit Mercy, 62-43. Mike Marshall was named the tournament’s MVP.
1999: DETROIT MERCY
Detroit Mercy briefly halted Butler’s streak in 1999. The Titans defeated the Bulldogs, 72-65. Rashad Phillips was named MVP of the tournament.
The Bulldogs defeated Green Bay, 70-51, to win its second straight conference title in 1998. Jon Neuhouser was named MVP.
Butler began its reign of dominance in the conference in 1997 with its first conference title. The Bulldogs edged Illinois-Chicago, 69-68. Kelsey Wilson was named MVP.
1996: NORTHERN ILLINOIS
Another brand new champion was crowned in 1996. Northern Illinois defeated Detroit Mercy, 84-63. Chris Coleman was named MVP.
1995: GREEN BAY
Green Bay got its first conference title win in 1995 with a 73-59 win over Wright State. Jeff Nordgaard was named MVP.
1994: DETROIT MERCY
Detroit Mercy ended Evansville’s run in 1994. The Titans won, 72-63, for their first conference championship. Andy Elkins, of Evansville, was named MVP.
Parrish Casebier led Evansville to a back-to-back NCAA Tournament berth when it won the conference title again. Evansville defeated Xavier, 80-69.
Evansville started one of its runs through the conference in 1992. The Purple Aces defeated Butler, 95-78. Parrish Casebier was named the MVP.
Xavier won its fifth conference title in six years in 1991. The Musketeers defeated Saint Louis, 81-68. Jamie Gladden was named the tournament’s MVP.
The Dayton Flyers won their first conference title in 1990, defeating the powerhouse Xavier 98-89. Negele Knight was named the MVP.
Xavier was the No. 3 seed going into the conference tournament and came through as champion. The Musketeers won their fourth straight over Evansville, 85-78. Tyrone Hill was the MVP.
Xavier set the record for most points scored in the conference title game when it defeated Detroit Mercy, 122-96, the third straight title and fourth overall at the time. Byron Larkin was named MVP for the third consecutive year.
Xavier won its second straight conference title in 1987. It defeated Saint Louis again in the final, 81-69. Byron Larkin won his second straight MVP award.
Xavier started its run through the Midwestern Collegiate Conference in 1986. The Musketeers defeated Saint Louis, 74-66, which started their four-peat. Byron Larkin was named MVP.
Loyola finally got over the hump and won its first conference championship in 1985. Loyola defeated Oral Roberts, 89-83. Alfredrick Hughes won the MVP again. He became the first two-time MVP winner.
1984: ORAL ROBERTS
Oral Roberts became the first two-time champion in the conference in 1984. It defeated Xavier, 82-76. Sam Potter was named MVP.
Xavier finally got a conference title win against Loyola in 1983. The Musketeers won, 82-76. Alfredrick Hughes, of Loyola, was named MVP.
Evansville won the conference tournament in 1982. The Purple Aces defeated Loyola, 81-72. Brad Leaf was named MVP of the tournament.
1981: OKLAHOMA CITY
Oklahoma City won its first and only conference title in 1981. The Chiefs defeated Xavier, 82-76. Anthony Hicks, of Xavier, was named MVP of the tournament.
1980: ORAL ROBERTS
Oral Roberts took home the first conference title when the league was known as the Midwestern City Conference. It defeated Loyola 103-93. Calvin Garrett was named MVP. It was one of two times a team scored 100 or more points in the conference title game.