Sunday, November 28, 2004
Valparaiso University's First Round NCAA Tournament opponent is a familiar one, as the Crusaders will battle Notre Dame on Friday evening at 5 p.m. in Madison, Wis.
The Crusaders earned the Mid-Continent Conference's automatic bid after winning the league's tournament, sweeping Oral Roberts in the championship. Valpo defeated Notre Dame in five games back on September 7 to snap a 17-match losing skid to the Fighting Irish. The match, played in South Bend, saw the Crusaders rally from a game down for a 26-30, 30-24, 30-26, 24-30, 15-12 triumph.
Valpo (29-4, 14-0 Mid-Con) has won nine straight matches entering the NCAA Tournament, and 23 of their last 24 overall.
Notre Dame (20-8, 9-1 BIG EAST) earned the automatic bid out of the BIG EAST after winning the league tournament, sweeping Pittsburgh in the title match.
In the other first round match held on Friday in Madison, 14th-seeded Wisconsin (19-9, 13-7 Big Ten) will face Loyola (Ill.) (22-8, 10-4 Horizon) at 7 p.m. The two first round winners will meet on Saturday at 7 p.m.