While this year’s Valparaiso men’s basketball team is looking to make history next week as it takes aim at its first Horizon League championship, the Crusaders will also take time to honor a special team from their past. Valpo will honor the 1961-1962 men’s basketball team, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of becoming the first team in program history to make the NCAA postseason, ultimately advancing to the national quarterfinals, at halftime of the Butler game next Friday, Feb. 24.
The 1961-1962 Crusaders, led by head coach Paul Meadows, finished the regular season with a 15-7 record before being invited to the NCAA College Division Basketball Championship (now the NCAA Division II Tournament). Valpo defeated Kentucky State in the first round of the tournament, 75-61, and then beat Concordia (Ill.) by a 75-72 score to advance to the final eight, where it eventually fell to Sacramento State, 62-54.
Seven players from that year’s team will be on hand to be honored next Friday night as this year’s Crusaders look to close the regular season with a victory over Butler, live on ESPNU at 6 p.m. Tickets are still available, and can be purchased by visiting the Valparaiso University Ticket Office, located inside the main entrance of the ARC, calling 1-877-MY-VU-TIX or 219-464-5233, or going online to www.valpoathletics.com.