Green Bay (18-14) at Valparaiso (24-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 9, 8:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000)-- Valparaiso,
Indiana. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Green Bay 12-3, Valparaiso 14-2. Away
Record: Green Bay 4-10, Valparaiso 10-5. Neutral Record: Green Bay 2-1,
Valparaiso 0-0. Conference Record: Green Bay 10-6, Valparaiso 13-3. Series
Record: Green Bay leads, 26-18.
GAME NOTES: The hosting Valparaiso Crusaders take on the No. 4-seed Green Bay
Phoenix with a spot in the Horizon League Tournament Championship game at
stake on Saturday.
The Crusaders claimed their first Horizon League regular-season title a season
ago, winning the crown by two games. They were unable to translate that
success into the conference tourney and ended up in the NIT instead of the Big
Dance. Bryce Drew's squad once again claimed the regular season crown in
2012-13 to earn homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs. The Crusaders
went 14-2 at home this season.
One of the most versatile players in college basketball will be spearheading
Valpo's charge. Ryan Broekhoff (15.9 ppg) is not only the top rebounder for
Valpo with 7.5 rpg, he is also first on the squad with 43.4 percent shooting
behind the 3-point line, adding 66 assists and 25 blocked shots for good
measure. Kevin Van Wijk checks in with 12.6 ppg and 5.3 rpg to form a very
tough front line. Lavonte Dority and Matt Kenney are valuable role players for
Drew, who was named the HL Coach of the Year after his team's stellar
This will be the third postseason game for the Phoenix. First they took down
Milwaukee, 62-46, on Tuesday behind strong defensive and rebounding efforts.
Green Bay may not have too much left in the tank after its thrilling, 64-63,
victory over Loyola-Chicago in Friday's quarterfinal action. The Phoenix went
ahead with 1.7 seconds left as Sultan Muhammad drilled a clutch 3-pointer to
clinch the win. The Phoenix went 8-of-18 from 3-point range as center Alec
Brown led the way with 17 points for the No. 4 seed. The win improved the
Phoenix to 18-14 on the season.
Keifer Sykes (15.4 ppg, 4.2 apg) and Brown (13.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg) give Green Bay
a shot at the upset in this one. Sykes has scored at least 12 points in 13 of
his last 14 games. Freshman forward Jordan Fouse will also help with his
rebounding abilities as he comes in averaging 7.8 boards per tilt. Fouse
managed eight points and nine rebounds in Friday's victory. However, the
Phoenix lost both of their regular season matchups with Valpo by double-digit
The Phoenix do have history on their side, as they are 26-18 all-time versus
That will most likely not be enough. The Crusaders came up just short last
season and Drew made sure not to let them forget that bitter taste of second
place. Valpo has an exceptional leader at forward who will propel it into
the title game.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Valparaiso 73, Green Bay 64
03/09 10:38:53 ET
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