Valparaiso, Ind. ? September 20, 2004 - Valparaiso and Duke will meet in a men's basketball game on December 4 at 1 p.m. at the United Center in Chicago, it was announced today by Valparaiso Director of Athletics Mark LaBarbera and head coach Homer Drew.
?This is an outstanding opportunity for our men's basketball team to compete against one of the premier programs in the country," said Drew. ?I know our players are excited about the opportunity to not only play Duke but also to get to play a home game at the United Center. It should be a great day for Valpo basketball."
Valparaiso finished the 2004-05 season with an 18-13 record and captured its 10th-straight Mid-Continent Conference championship. The Crusaders also advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time in the last nine years.
Duke ended the 2004-05 campaign with a 31-6 record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament semifinals before losing, 79-78, to eventual NCAA champion Connecticut.
?Duke coming to play us in Chicago is a testament to Homer Drew and the type of program he has built at Valparaiso," said LaBarbera. ?We had a great game and a great crowd two years ago at the United Center when we played Notre Dame and hopefully, we will have an even better atmosphere when we play Duke. Coach Drew has put together one of the most competitive non-conference schedules in the country with games against perennial NCAA teams such as Duke, Illinois, Cincinnati and Charlotte."
A crowd of 11,716 saw the Crusaders drop a heartbreaker to Notre Dame, 55-53, on January 4, 2003 in the Crusaders only previous appearance at the United Center. The Blue Devils have gone 5-0 at the United Center and, in the three games Duke has played at the UC since 1999; they have averaged almost 20,000 fans per game.
In 2003-04, Valpo and Duke played in Durham on February 26 with the Blue Devils winning, 97-63. The two teams will play again in Durham in the 2005-06 season.
For more information on tickets for the December 4 game, call 219-464-5233 or log on to www.valpo.edu/athletics.