Upsets certainly happen in the NCAA Tournament, but the No. 14 seed Valparaiso Crusaders are going to have a really tough outing against the No. 3 seed Michigan State Spartans.
Michigan State has consistently been ranked in the top 25 pretty much the entire season. They have been challanged all year long, especially from playing in the Big Ten. Valparaiso couldn’t even manage to beat Nebraska, who was one of the worst teams in the Big Ten this season.
But then again, maybe Valparaiso’s leading scorer Ryan Broekhoff will come up big like he has all season. Broekhoff is averaging 15.9 points per game and has made 82 threes on the year. Not to mention, the Crusaders shoot the ball pretty well, being the 6th ranked team in the nation when it comes to field goal percentage.
Valparaiso is definitely going to need that high percentage shooting against one of the best teams in the country when it faces the Spartans.
Making the tournament is one thing, but being able to compete in it is a whole different story. This team is really going to have a tough time guarding Michigan State’s Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix in the post.
However, if the Crusaders can knock down their shots then this could be a much closer game than people think.
Valparaiso has a bunch of seniors on the team, which is usually pretty important come tournament time. The Big Ten has been the talk of college basketball all season long, but the Crusaders are riding a six-game winning steak into the dance and Michigan State has lost four out seven.