Home games against regional powers Butler and Marquette, road contests at some of college basketball's top venues and a late December trip to Hawai'i highlight the 2006-07 Valparaiso University men's basketball schedule, announced today by 18th-year Head Coach Homer Drew
The Crusaders will look to build on last year's 17-12 record with a 30-game regular season schedule that also includes a third straight season as part of the ESPN BracketBusters weekend, February 16 or 17.
The Brown and Gold have two exhibition games scheduled to kick off the year, November 4 and 6 at the Athletics-Recreation Center against Indiana Wesleyan and Trinity Christian respectively. The season opener marks a return to Valpo for Indiana Wesleyan Head Coach Greg Tonagel, who played and coached for the Crusaders from 1998-2005.
The regular season opens four days after the final exhibition, when Calumet College visits the ARC November 11 at 7:00 p.m. The Crimson Wave were coached for the last two seasons by Jason Hawkins
, now an assistant with the Crusaders.
After road games at IPFW and Niagara, the Brown and Gold will travel to the RBC Center Raleigh, N.C. for a matchup against the Atlantic Coast Conference's North Carolina State Wolfpack on November 21. The game will mark the second straight season the Crusaders will play in North Carolina, after falling last season to #1 ranked Duke in Durham.
Valpo then returns home for the week of Thanksgiving weekend with a pair of big non-conference home games. The Crusaders will meet the Big East's Marquette November 27 at the Athletics-Recreation Center before renewing one of the school's longest-standing rivalries November 29 against Butler. Both games are scheduled to begin at 7:05 p.m.
And the road gets no easier from there, because on December 2 Valpo visits Big Ten powerhouse Ohio State in only the second all-time meeting between the two teams. Three days later the Crusaders are back in Indiana, but on the road again taking on Evansville on December 5 at 7:05 p.m.
After a road game at Ball State on December 16, the Crusaders will pack their bags for Hawaii and the 43rd Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic in Honolulu. Valpo will matchup against Creigton in the first round of the tournament in a game scheduled to begin just after midnight Central Time in the early morning hours of December 22 before taking on either Charlotte or Houston later that night. The tournament field also includes Wyoming, Nebraska, San Francisco and host Hawai'i.
The Crusaders begin their final season in the Mid-Continent Conference January 4 on the road at Centenary followed by a matchup at defending conference champion Oral Roberts on January 6. Notable conference home games include January 13 against IUPUI, February 1 against Oral Roberts and the season finale, February 24 against UMKC, all scheduled to begin at 7:05 p.m.