NCAA Basketball March Madness

2013 NCAA Tournament: Valparaiso Dealt Difficult Hand With Michigan State Draw

Mike DiNovo-USA Today Sports

With Butler moving from the Horizon League to the Atlantic 10 Conference this season, the door opened for other members of the league to stake their claims and make their move at conference supremacy.

Say hello to the Valparaiso Crusaders, who won both regular season and conference tournament titles in the Horizon League this season. At 26-7 overall, Valparaiso has some talent, spearheaded by both Ryan Broekhoff and Kevin Van Wijk. Don’t forget about their coach either, who will certainly generate some NCAA Tournament headlines simply off his name and appearance. Yes of course that is a reference to Bryce Drew, who is now the head man at Valparaiso and is still well-known for his infamous buzzer-beater that still, and forever will live in the NCAA Tournament glory.

As for this year’s Crusaders squad however, they are a No. 14 seed and despite having the ability to be dangerous in this year’s NCAA Tournament field, they ran into a stone wall on Sunday evening. The NCAA selection committee dealt Valparaiso a very difficult draw with third seeded Michigan State in the second round.

Sure, Valparaiso is talented enough and they do feature a team that is red hot having won ten of their last 11 games overall, but do they really have any chance at defeating the Spartans?

It’s doubtful simply because of the way that head coachTom Izzo has molded the Spartans this season. Michigan State is a dangerous team is hoping for to make a run to the Final Four in their own right.

It’s a tough draw for Valparaiso, but let’s at least say this: Bryce Drew does know a little bit about creating magic, so we will wait and see how this one will unfold.


Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS