Fifteen years ago last week, Bryce Drew made NCAA tournament history with “The Shot,” the buzzer-beating three-pointer that delivered 14th-seeded Valparaiso past third-seeded Ole Miss, 70-69, in a first-round matchup.
The Crusaders, out of the Horizon League, won two tournament games that season and none since. They last went dancing in 2004, but now Drew, who took over the team from his father Homer in 2011, has the chance to add a new chapter as coach.
Valparaiso again earned the No. 14 seed and is taking on third-seeded Michigan State in Auburn Hills, Mich. Through the early going in the opening game of the day, the Crusaders have hung tough in a grinding, low-scoring affair. Nine minutes in, both teams were shooting worse than 25 percent from the field.
Michigan State has plenty of tournament history, but it has been eliminated in the first round four times since 2002. George Mason, memorably, knocked off Tom Izzo’s squad in the first game of its run to the Final Four in 2006.
Follow the live stats here to see if this season’s version of the Crusaders can capture any of that magic.