The Valparaiso men’s basketball team earned an automatic bid into the 2012 National Invitation Tournament by virtue of winning the Horizon League regular-season championship, and learned Sunday evening that it would be a seventh-seed, traveling to face second-seeded Miami (Fla.) on Wednesday evening, March 14 at 6:30 p.m. CDT live on ESPNU.
The Crusaders earned an automatic bid after capturing the Horizon League regular season title with a 14-4 league record. Valpo, which carries a 22-11 overall record into the NIT, lost the league championship game to Detroit last Tuesday. The Crusaders are led by Horizon League Player of the Year Ryan Broekhoff, who averages 14.8 points and a league-high 8.6 rebounds per game, along with fellow First Team All-League honoree Kevin Van Wijk, who tallies 14.4 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest.
Miami is currently 19-12 on the season and went 9-7 in Atlantic Coast Conference play, finishing tied for fourth in the regular season before falling to Florida State in the conference quarterfinals. The Hurricanes own wins over Florida State, which won the conference tournament, and at top-ten Duke during the regular season. Miami boasts four players averaging in double figures on the season as it records 71.2 points per game as a team, led by 12.9 ppg from junior guard Durand Scott.
The winner of the Valpo-Miami game would advance to face the winner of third-seeded La Salle and sixth-seeded Minnesota on a to-be-determined date.