Horizon final at Hinkle? Sign me up

Updated: March 10, 2009, 2:53 PM ET
By Fran Fraschilla
There will not be many better conference tournament title games than Tuesday night's Horizon League final between Butler and Cleveland State at Butler's historic Hinkle Fieldhouse (ESPN, 9 p.m. ET).

This will have the feel of a grudge match. Butler coach Brad Stevens, whose team has defeated the Vikings on the final play of each of their matchups this season, compares the Vikings' defensive style to rough-and-tumble Southern Illinois. Cleveland State's Gary Waters, who orchestrated Kent State's rise as a mid-major power before leaving for Rutgers and the Big East, is back in Ohio building another quality program. St. John's transfer Cedric Jackson mirrors the "junkyard dog" mentality of Waters' entire team and is one of the best defensive guards in the country. You might remember his miracle shot from 70 feet that defeated Syracuse at the Carrier Dome earlier in the season.

Undersized 6-foot-5 power forward J'Nathan Bullock is a warrior inside who, like Waters' former Golden Flash player and All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates, may have a serious future on the gridiron.