Sunday, January 21, 2007
ESPN.com writer Kyle Whelliston named Valparaiso as one of his five best college basketball game atmospheres last week as part of ESPN's Student Spirit Week.
In conjunction with Student Spirit Week, ESPN.com had seven experts select five schools apiece based on the best game atmospheres. Valpo was one of 22 schools named by the writers, with other selections including Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Indiana, among others.
Whelliston had the following to say about Valpo: Â?Whether the team is an overachieving giant-killer or a plain old underdog, Valpo students and locals jam into the tightly packed 5,000-seat ARC to sit shoulder-to-shoulder and cheer on their beloved Crusaders. The crowd can be so intense it can be both a sixth and a seventh man (as in a heroic near-miss versus ranked Marquette in November). And after the final buzzer, hundreds of folks stick around to congregate on the hardcourt, discuss the game or just catch up."
Valparaiso also ranks 10th in a poll asking the fans to rank the 22 schools selected by the experts. Valpo is the highest mid-major in the poll, with schools such as Florida, Syracuse, Gonzaga and longtime rival Butler ranked below the Crusaders.
ESPN.com Favorite Arena Atmospheres article
Fan Poll Ranking 22 Selected Schools