The Valparaiso men’s basketball team received a no. 13 seed for the 2015 NCAA Tournament and will open tournament play with a second-round game against no. 4 seed Maryland on Friday, March 20. Valpo will take on the Terrapins in Columbus, Ohio, with game time to be determined later this evening.
The Crusaders enter the NCAA Tournament at 28-5 on the season, having already set a new program record for wins in a season. Valpo earned the automatic berth out of the Horizon League after defeating Green Bay at the ARC last Tuesday in the league title game, 54-44. The Crusaders received a no. 13 seed for the third time in nine NCAA Tournament appearances at the Division I level, previously picking up no. 13 seeds in 1998 and 2002.
Maryland enters the tournament at 27-6 on the season and went 14-4 in Big Ten play this year. The Terrapins are led by freshman guard Melo Trimble, who averages 16.3 ppg and hits 40% from the 3-point line, and senior swingman Dez Wells, who averages 15.4 ppg and 5.4 rpg. Maryland is one of the nation’s top free throw shooting teams, connecting at a 75.7% clip from the line this year.
This is the second meeting all-time between Valparaiso and Maryland, with the first also coming in the NCAA Tournament. In 1999, the second-seeded Terrapins downed the 15th-seeded Crusaders, 82-60. The winner of the Valpo-Maryland matchup will take on the winner between West Virginia and Buffalo in third round play on Sunday, March 22.