Valparaiso men’s basketball head coach Bryce Drew announced today the Crusaders’ schedule for the upcoming 2014-15 campaign, including 15 home games at the Athletics-Recreation Center and a trio of appearances on the ESPN family of networks during Horizon League play.
The Crusaders begin the home slate at the ARC with an exhibition game against Grand Valley State on Nov. 6 before opening the regular season at home on Friday night, Nov. 14 versus East Tennessee State. Prior to the game against ETSU, there will be a tribute to Gene Bartow, former Valparaiso head coach and father of current ETSU head coach Murry Bartow.
The highlight of the non-league slate comes on Saturday, Dec. 6, when the Crusaders welcome New Mexico to the ARC. Perennially among the top-25 teams in the nation, the Lobos have won 84 games over the last three seasons and own four Mountain West regular season titles over the last six years. One week later, in-state rival Ball State comes to town.
The road schedule opens up Sunday, Nov. 16 as the Crusaders take on Missouri, 23-game winners out of the SEC a season ago. Two tournaments are on the docket for Valpo this year: a tournament at Central Michigan Nov. 21 and 23 - featuring Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Maine in addition to the host Chippewas – and the previously announced Challenge in Music City Nov. 28-30, where the Crusaders will face Drake, Murray State and Portland.
Valpo has three road non-league games on the schedule for December, starting with a game at Eastern Kentucky Dec. 3 – a return game from the BracketBusters matchup two seasons ago at the ARC. The Crusaders will also travel to play IPFW on Dec. 20 and James Madison on Dec. 29. Other non-league home games include IU South Bend (Nov. 19, part of the Challenge in Music City), Trinity International (Dec. 10) and Goshen (Dec. 21).
Horizon League play opens for the Crusaders on Friday, Jan. 2 at Oakland, with the home opener coming two days later against Youngstown State. The double round-robin slate totals 16 games, with three of Valpo’s games slated for broadcast on the ESPN family of networks. The Crusaders’ game at Green Bay on Friday, Jan. 23 will either be on ESPNU or ESPN3, while the home game against the Phoenix on Friday, Feb. 13 can be seen either on ESPN2 or ESPNU. The regular season finale – at Cleveland State on Friday, Feb. 27 – will be broadcast live on ESPNU at 9 p.m. CT.
Valpo’s final regular season home game will take place against Wright State on Saturday, Feb. 21. The Horizon League Championship will be contested Mar. 3-10, with the tournament champion earning the league’s automatic berth to the 2015 NCAA Tournament.