WXYZ - It's March. It's the time of year basketball teams across the country have been preparing for all season. This weekend, Little Caesars Arena will host the Horizon League tournament. Both area teams believe they have a shot to win it all.
Oakland's coach Greg Kampe said his team has a very specific goal: win Motor City Madness and make it to the NCAA tournament.
"The winner goes to the NCAA tournament and that's what these kids dream of," says Kampe.
To get there they'll have to win three games in three says with a seriously depleted roster. The Golden Grizzlies have seen four scholarship players suffer season-ending injuries. The latest blow came just a couple weeks ago when guard Martez Walker broke his ankle.
"I think that all the high expectations that were there, in a lot of people's minds have gone away, but not in ours. I mean, we said when this season started that this year would be judged by the tournament in March. And the tournament in March is here now. Ya, we're missing a lot of people, but this team is still ready to go and they believe in themselves," said Kampe.
Detroit Mercy enters the tournament in last place, but coach Bacari Alexander knows anything is possible when tournament time hits.
"We feel nobody is getting an at-large bid this season from our league, and that's just a mid major reality. Last year the tenth seed went to the championship game, and so we're hoping to grab hold of some of that magic, but it all starts one game at a time," said Alexander.
This is the first year the Horizon League tournament will be held at Little Caesars Arena.
Detroit will play Green Bay Friday at 5:30pm and Oakland will play IUPUI on Sunday at 7:30pm.
Like Us. We Like You.
Get local stories delivered directly to your newsfeed.