Valpo forward Lubos Barton was named to the honorable
mention list in voting for The Associated Press All-America
team. Kentucky forward Tayshaun Prince was a third team
selection. Barton was Player of the Year in the
Mid-Continent Conference and Prince was Player of the Year
in the Southeastern Conference.
Kentucky earned a share of the Southeastern Conference East
Division title with a 10-6 league record and earned an
at-large bid to the tournament after bowing in the
quarterfinals of the league tournament to South Carolina.
Valparaiso won the Mid-Continent Conference regular season
title and earned an NCAA tournament berth by capturing the
conference tournament title.
Valparaiso is appearing in the NCAA tournament for the
sixth time in the past seven years. Kentucky is appearing
in the tournament for a national-record 43rd time and for
the 11th consecutive year. Kentucky has won its tournament
opener for 10 consecutive years.
Kentucky has won six of its last 10 games. Valpo has won
14 of its last 15.
Valpo won a school record 25 games this season, topping the
previous mark of 24 set in 1924 and matched in 1997 and
Valparaiso Coach Homer Drew, in his 26th season as a
college head coach, notched his 500th victory this season
and enters the tournament with a 504-306 career record.
Kentucky Coach Tubby Smith has a 254-104 record in 11
season, including a 130-42 mark in five seasons at Kentucky.
See the men's basketball Web site for more pre-game and
Valparaiso and Kentucky will be meeting on a basketball
court for the first time when they tangle in St. Louis
Thursday morning in their first-round game in the NCAA
tournament. It will not, however, be Valpo's first game
against a Southeastern Conference team. Most memorable
perhaps was Valpo's 70-69 victory over Mississippi in the
1998 NCAA tournament. The following year the Crusaders
knocked off South Carolina in a season-opening tournament
in Indianapolis and the in the 1999-2000 season the
Crusaders beat Mississippi State, 68-59, in a tournament in
St. Charles, Mo. In earlier seasons, Valpo lost to
Vanderbilt and Alabama. Six Southeastern Conference teams
are in the NCAA tournament field this year.
The winner of the Valpo-Kentucky game will face the winner
of the Marquette-Tulsa game at 4:38 p.m. Saturday at the
Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. Valpo has not met Tulsa
previously and has a 5-18 record against Marquette with the
last meeting coming 50 years ago.
Tickets available at game site
Tickets for Valpo's game at 11:25 a.m. Thursday against
Kentucky in the first round of the NCAA tournament in St.
Louis will be available at the ticket office at the Edward
Jones Dome, site of the game, on Wednesday and Thursday,
March 13 and 14.
The ticket office will be open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Wednesday and beginning at 8 a.m. on Thursday. Single
session tickets are $50 each. The other game in Thursday's
day session matches Marquette against Tulsa. Thursday's
winners play at 4:38 p.m. Saturday.
Tickets for all three sessions being played in St. Louis
are $150 each and may be obtained by calling Ticketmaster
at 314-241-1888. Thursday night Kansas faces Holy Cross
and Stanford faces Western Kentucky. Winners of those two
games also will play Saturday.
Pre-game reception in St. Louis
Valpo fans are invited to a pre-game reception prior to the
NCAA basketball tournament game against Kentucky. The
reception begins at 9:30 a.m. CST at the Millennium Hotel,
200 S. 4th St., St. Louis. Telephone number for the hotel
St. Louis tournament is homecoming for Drew, Nelke
When Valpo opens play in the NCAA tournament Thursday in St. Louis, it will be a homecoming of sorts for
Coach Homer Drew and player Mike Nelke.
Drew, who is in his 14th year at Valpo and recently
won his 500th game as a college coach, grew up in suburban
Webster Groves. Nelke, a sophomore who has appeared in all
32 Valpo games this season, is a graduate of McCluer High
School in St. Louis.
The Crusaders (25-7) face the University of
Kentucky (20-9) at 11:25 a.m. CST in the Edward Jones Dome
in downtown St. Louis. Kentucky is seeded 4th in the East
Regional and the Crusaders are seeded 13th. The winner
plays in St. Louis at 4:38 p.m. Saturday against the winner
of the game matching 5th-seeded Marquette (26-6) against
12th-seeded Tulsa (26-6).
Tickets in the Valpo section are being sold via
telephone from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, March 11. All
orders must be placed by calling 219-548-7700 and may be
purchased with Visa, MasterCard or Discover credit cards.
Walk-up sales are not available.
Crusaders face Kentucky
will face the University of Kentucky in the first round of the NCAA
tournament Thursday at 11:25 a.m. in St. Louis. The Crusaders (25-7)
are seeded 13th in the East Region while Kentucky (20-9) is seeded
winner will play in St. Louis again Saturday against the winner
of Thursday's other game in St. Louis matching 5th-seeded Marquette
(26-6) against 12th-seeded Tulsa (26-6).
for Valpo's opening game go on sale on campus at 1 p.m. Monday.
A limited number of tickets will be available on a predetermined
priority by calling 219-548-7700. Purchases must be made using MasterCard,
Visa or Discover. All ticket sales will be by phone and there will
be no walk-up sales.
to host NCAA pairings party Sunday
Valparaiso University will
host an NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Pairings Party on Sunday
in the Athletics-Recreation Center arena. The pairings party is
free and open to the public. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m. and the
pairings will be shown on a big screen TV beginning at 5:30 p.m.
The Valpo men's basketball
team, which earned its 6th trip to the NCAA Tournament by capturing
the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament title, will be in attendance.
Free refreshments will be provided. Mid-Continent Champion T-shirts
will be available for purchase.
NCAA tickets on sale
Valpo earned an automatic
berth in the NCAA men's basketball championships by virtue of its
88-55 victory over IUPUI in the finals of the Mid-Continent Conference
tournament. It will be the sixth NCAA tournament appearance in the
last seven years for the Crusaders, who also won the Mid-Con regular-season
title and have a 25-7 record.
Opponent and site for Valpo's
first-round game will be announced Sunday.
The University will have
a limited number of NCAA tickets available for various groups, including
season ticket holders, students, faculty and staff. Ticket orders
will be accepted beginning at 1 p.m. Monday, March 11, by calling
The women's team, which
captured the Mid-Con's regular-season title before falling to Oakland
in the tournament finals, will learn Sunday if it receives an invitation
to the WNIT tournament