Location: Valparaiso, IN
Coach: Bryce Drew
Record: 28-5, (13-3 Horizon)
KenPom ranking: 63
Good wins (Kenpom ranking): vs. Green Bay (68), vs. Murray State (73)
Bad losses (Kenpom ranking): @ Detroit (186), @ Oakland (155)
Tournament appearances: Nine (most recent: 2013)
Best result: Sweet 16 (1998)
NBA alumni: Bryce Drew
Best name: E. Victor Nickerson
Celebrity alumni: 30 Rock writer/actor John Lutz
Valparaiso and Green Bay staged one of the better two-team conference races in the country this year. During the regular season, Valpo won its home game by four and Green Bay won its home game by one. The Crusaders were still able to take home the conference's regular season crown, and that meant they hosted the Horizon League championship, where Valpo outlasted the Phoenix to earn the automatic berth in a one-bid league.
Style of Play: The Crusades took a really long time
Valpo ranked No. 274 in the country in pace and No. 31 in defensive efficiency. Simply put, this is a team that wants to limit the opposition's number of possessions and make sure those possessions are as tough as possible. The defensive in captained by the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year, Vashil Fernandez, who finished No. 6 in the country in block rate, according to KenPom.
Key Player: Peters the Power Forward Eater
Peters was only 3-for-13 in the title game against Green Bay, but the sophomore power forward had a remarkable year. He averaged 16.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game on 49 percent shooting from the field. Most remarkable of all, he enters the tournament hitting 46.2 percent of the 5.2 three-pointers he attempted per game. At 6'9, 225 pounds, Peters has high major size and skill coming out of the Horizon League.
Like father, like son, like other son
One of the NCAA Tournament's most iconic moments was Bryce Drew's miracle buzzer-beater to put Valpo over fourth-seeded Ole Miss. Back then, Drew was the coach's son, as his father Homer was the longtime coach of the Crusaders. When Homer retired, he gave his job as Valpo's head coach to his oldest son, Scott. But Scott took the job as Baylor's head coach after just a year. Homer stepped in again, and when he retired for good in 2011, it was finally Bryce's turn.