The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team came up short of the ultimate goal on Sunday, as the Crusaders were not selected as an at-large entrant into the 2016 NCAA Tournament. But as one of the committee’s ‘First Four Out’ of the NCAA Tournament, the Crusaders automatically earned a one-seed into the 2016 Postseason NIT. Valpo will host eighth-seeded Texas Southern in first-round action at the ARC on Tuesday evening, Mar. 15, at 8:15 p.m. CT on ESPN3. Tickets are available online now, while the Valpo ticket office will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday and will open at 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning.
The Crusaders enter the NIT at 26-6 overall and 16-2 in Horizon League play, capturing the league regular season crown by three games. Meanwhile, Texas Southern owns an 18-14 overall record and also went 16-2 in conference action, winning the SWAC regular season crown by three games as well. Like Valpo, the Tigers fell in the semifinals of their conference tournament.
The winner of the Valpo-Texas Southern game will face the winner of the Florida State-Davidson first-round game. Dates, times and sites for games in the second round and quarterfinals will be available as the tournament progresses. The semifinals will be held March 29 and the championship game March 31 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
This marks the third time that the Crusaders have earned a spot in the postseason NIT, as Valpo previously lost in first-round action in 2003 at Iowa and in 2012 at Miami. This year is the sixth straight season that the Crusaders have advanced to postseason play.