Valparaiso Crusaders men's basketball

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Valparaiso Crusaders
2016–17 Valparaiso Crusaders men's basketball team
VALPO logo.png
University Valparaiso University
Conference Horizon League
Location Valparaiso, IN
Head coach Matt Lottich (1st year)
Arena Athletics-Recreation Center
(Capacity: 5,432)
Nickname Crusaders
Colors Brown and Gold[1]
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Home jersey
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Team colours
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Away jersey
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Team colours
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Alternate jersey
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Team colours
NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen
NCAA Tournament Round of 32
NCAA Tournament appearances
1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2013, 2015
Conference tournament champions

Mid-Continent Conference
1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004

Horizon League
2013, 2015
Conference regular season champions

Mid-Continent Conference
1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004

Horizon League
2012, 2013, 2015, 2016
Butler–Valparaiso rivalry
Sport Men's basketball
  • Butler Bulldogs
  • Valparaiso Crusaders
First meeting 1934–35
Butler 41, Valparaiso 25
Latest meeting March 3, 2012
Valparaiso 65, Butler 46
Trophy none
Meetings total 103
All-time series Butler leads, 67–36
Largest victory Valparaiso, 85–49 (1945–46)
Longest win streak Butler, 15 (1957–1964)
Current win streak Valparaiso: 4 wins (2011–12)

The Valparaiso Crusaders men's basketball team represents Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana. The basketball team competes in the Horizon League. The Crusaders play in the Athletics-Recreation Center, which has a nominal capacity of 5,432. The record capacity 5,444 was reached on March 23, 2016 in the NIT Quarterfinal. The team last played in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament in 2015.

On April 7, 2016, the school promoted former assistant coach Matt Lottich to the head coach position following Bryce Drew accepting the head coaching position at Vanderbilt on April 6, 2016.[2][3][4]


The beginning[edit]

The Crusaders' first game was in 1917. Under the coaching of Sidney Winters, the team lost to Chicago. The team would finish 7-2 that year.[5] In 1988, Homer Drew took the job as head coach and remained until retiring in May 2011. He was then succeeded by his son Bryce. 1988 was also the year that the Crusaders defeated 19th-ranked Notre Dame in a game that came to be known as "The Lutheran Miracle."

The tallest team[edit]

The 194445 team was billed as "The World's Tallest Team."[5] That year, they defeated Long Island University in a game played in Madison Square Garden.

Conference affiliation[edit]

The Crusaders joined the Indiana Collegiate Conference for the 19501951 season. The Crusaders advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time in 196162. In 196869, they hosted an NCAA tournament game for the first time.

Division I[edit]

The Crusaders joined Division I before the 1978–79 season. After four years as an independent, they became charter members of the Association of Mid-Continent Universities, now known as The Summit League. In 2007, Valparaiso became a member of the Horizon League.


Season Coach Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Valparaiso (Mid-Continent Conference) (1982–2007)
1994–95 Homer Drew 20–8 14–4 1st
1995–96 Homer Drew 22–10 13–5 1st NCAA 1st Round
1996–97 Homer Drew 24–7 13–3 1st NCAA 1st Round
1997–98 Homer Drew 23–10 13–3 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1998–99 Homer Drew 23–10 10–4 T–1st NCAA 1st Round
1999–00 Homer Drew 19–13 10–6 T–2nd NCAA 1st Round
2000–01 Homer Drew 24–8 13–3 T–1st
2001–02 Homer Drew 25–8 12–2 1st NCAA 1st Round
2002–03 Scott Drew 20–11 12–2 1st NIT Opening Round
2003–04 Homer Drew 18–13 11–5 1st NCAA 1st Round
Valparaiso (Horizon League) (2007–present)
2011–12 Bryce Drew 22–12 14–4 1st NIT First Round
2012–13 Bryce Drew 26–8 13–3 1st NCAA Second Round
2014–15 Bryce Drew 28–6 13–3 1st NCAA Second Round
2015–16 Bryce Drew 29-7 16-2 1st NIT Final

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


NCAA Division I tournament[edit]

Under coach Homer Drew, the Crusaders became a conference power. They won their first Mid-Continent championship in 1995, led by star player Bryce Drew. However, the team was not invited to the NCAA Tournament. The Crusaders won the 1996 conference championship and received their first invitation to the Division I NCAA Tournament. In the 1998 Tournament, the Crusaders won their first Tournament game, defeating the University of Mississippi on a last second shot by Bryce Drew. The Crusaders won their second round game against Florida State University before losing in the Sweet 16 to the University of Rhode Island. The Crusaders won the Mid-Continent Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament every year until 2001, when Southern Utah University won the conference tournament. In Coach Scott Drew's only year as head coach, the team advanced to the National Invitation Tournament where, in their first game televised by ESPN, they lost to the University of Iowa. The Crusaders played in the title game of the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament every year between 1995 and 2004.

NCAA Division I tournament results[edit]

The Crusaders have appeared in nine NCAA Tournaments. Their combined record is 2–9.

Time, TV
Rank# Opponent# Result Record Site
City, State
No. 14(W) vs. No. 3(W) Arizona
First Round
L 90–51  0–1
ASU Activity Center 
Tempe, Arizona
No. 12(W) vs. No. 5(W) Boston College
First Round
L 73–66  0–2
Jon M. Huntsman Center 
No. 13(MW) vs. No. 4(MW) Mississippi
First Round
W 70–69  1–2
Myriad Convention Center 
No. 13(MW) vs. No. 12(MW) Florida State
Second Round
W 83–77 OT 2–2
Myriad Convention Center 
No. 13(MW) vs. No. 8(MW) Rhode Island
Sweet Sixteen
L 74–68  2–3
Kiel Center 
No. 15(S) vs. No. 2(S) Maryland
First Round
L 82–60  2–4
Orlando Arena 
No. 16(MW) vs. No. 1(MW) Michigan State
First Round
L 65–38  2–5
Wolstein Center 
No. 13(E) vs. No. 4(E) Kentucky
First Round
L 83–68  2–6
Edward Jones Dome 
No. 15(St. Louis) vs. No. 2(St.Louis) Gonzaga
First Round
L 76–49  2–7
No. 14(MW) vs. No. 3(MW) Michigan State
Second Round
L 65–54  2–8
The Palace of Auburn Hills 
No. 13(MW) vs. No. 4(MW) Maryland
Second Round
L 65–62  2–9
Nationwide Arena 
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll. (#) Tournament seedings in parentheses.
All times are in Central Time. (#) during NCAA Tournament is seed..

NCAA Division II tournament results[edit]

The Crusaders have appeared in the NCAA Division II Tournament five times. Their combined record is 7–5.

Year Round Opponent Result
1962 Regional Semifinals
Regional Finals
Elite Eight
Kentucky State
Concordia (IL)
Sacramento State
W 75–61
W 75–72
L 54–61
1966 Regional Semifinals
Regional Finals
Saint Procopius
North Dakota
W 107–76
L 82–112
1967 Regional Semifinals
Regional Finals
Elite Eight
Colorado State–Preblo
Indiana State
Missouri State
W 89–52
W 80–77
L 72–86
1969 Regional Semifinals
Regional Finals
Concordia (IL)
Illinois State
W 91–81
L 87–103
1973 Regional Semifinals
Regional Finals
Kentucky Wesleyan
W 69–64
L 66–74

NAIA tournament results[edit]

The Crusaders have appeared in the NAIA Tournament two times. Their combined record is 1–2.

Year Round Opponent Result
1938 First Round
Second Round
Western Oregon
Central Missouri
W 57–48
L 24–44
1943 First Round Eastern Washington L 42–45

NIT Results[edit]

The Crusaders have appeared in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) three times. Their combined record is 4–3.

Year Round Opponent Result/Score
2003 Opening Round Iowa L 60–62
2012 First Round Miami (FL) L 50–66
2016 First Round
Second Round
Championship Game
Texas Southern
Florida State
Saint Mary's
George Washington
W 84–73
W 81–69
W 60–44
W 72–70
L 60–76

CBI Results[edit]

The Crusaders have appeared in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) one time. Their record is 1–1.

Year Round Opponent Result/Score
2008 First Round
W 72–71
L 67–91

CIT Results[edit]

The Crusaders have appeared in the Postseason Tournament (CIT) two times. Their combined record is 0–2.

Year Round Opponent Result/Score
2011 First Round Iona L 77–85
2014 First Round Columbia L 56–58


All Crusader games are broadcast for free on the Valparaiso website at WVUR-FM, the student-run campus radio station, also broadcasts select Crusader games on 95.1 FM and on the station's website.

Crusaders in the NBA[edit]


External links[edit]