Valparaiso men’s basketball head coach Bryce Drew announced today the Crusaders’ schedule for the 2011-2012 season, a schedule which features 17 home games, at least five games against NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago and at least four national television broadcasts.
Valpo will open play with a pair of home exhibition games, facing Hillsdale (Oct. 29) and Augustana (Nov. 3), before playing in one of the first regular season games nationwide, opening the regular season slate on Monday, Nov. 7 at Arizona, which advanced to the Elite Eight of the 2011 NCAA Tournament, on ESPNU.
The game against the Wildcats is the first of four the Crusaders will play as part of the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer, as Valpo will host a four-team round-robin subregional at the ARC the weekend of Nov. 18-20. The three teams that will visit Valpo are currently in the process of being finalized.
Following the game at Arizona, the Crusaders also travel to Georgia Southern (Nov. 11) before returning home against Holy Cross [Ind.] College (Nov. 14) prior to hosting the subregional round. Following the tournament weekend, Valpo travels to take on Ohio State, which ended the 2010-2011 regular season ranked #1 in the nation, on Nov. 25. The game against the Buckeyes is slated for broadcast on the Big Ten Network.
A brief stop in Horizon League play opens up December for the Crusaders, as Valpo heads down I-65 to face Butler on Saturday, Dec. 3. The Crusaders play at IPFW (Dec. 7) and return to the ARC for contests against Bowling Green (Dec. 10) and 2011 NCAA Tournament participant Oakland (Dec. 17). The main portion of the non-league slate closes out with games at Northern Illinois (Dec. 20) and against IUPUI at Conseco Fieldhouse (Dec. 23), while Valpo will also again be part of the BracketBusters event, going on the road Feb. 18.
Valpo then hits the meat of the double round-robin Horizon League schedule, starting with a home game Dec. 29 against Milwaukee. The league slate is highlighted by a trio of television appearances: Friday, Jan. 6 at Detroit, a game which will be broadcast either on ESPNU or ESPN3.com; Saturday, Jan. 28 at Milwaukee, the Horizon League Network Game of the Week – broadcast regionally through the Horizon League markets; and Friday, Feb. 24 as Valpo hosts Butler in front of a national audience on ESPNU in the regular season finale.
The Horizon League Championship begins on campus sites on Tuesday, Feb. 28. The semifinals will be broadcast on ESPNU on Saturday, Mar. 3, with the championship game played Tuesday, Mar. 6 at the highest remaining seed live on ESPN. The winner of the 2012 Horizon League Championship receives an automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Tournament.