Valparaiso will begin its quest for its first Mid-Continent Conference Tournament title on Friday morning as the Crusaders face Western Illinois in Tulsa, Okla. beginning at 10 a.m.
The Crusaders, the tournament's second seed, defeated the third-seeded Lethernecks 4-3 in Tulsa on April 8 during the Mid-Con cluster weekend.
Valpo finished second in the league during the regular season with a 5-1 mark, while finishing 11-9 overall. The Crusaders have assured themselves their first winning season in more than a decade. Western Illinois enters with a 12-7 mark overall, 4-2 in league play.
The winner of the Valpo-Western Illinois match will advance to Saturday's title tilt at 11 a.m. against the winner of Friday's 2 p.m. semifinal pitting top-seeded Oral Roberts (9-11, 6-0) against fourth-seeded UMKC (6-7, 3-3). Valpo fell to Oral Roberts 4-3 during the regular season but beat the Kangaroos 7-0.
The tournament champion earns the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.