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And Another Thing


The return of Valpo

Well, the Big Watusi just got a whole lot better, and it hasn't even begun yet.

For the first time since 2004, Valparaiso is back in the NCAA Tournament, courtesy of a 62-54 win over Wright State to win the Horizon League's automatic bid.

Bring on the Homer Drew stories, the Bryce Drew stories, that video clip of Bryce's dagger three against Ole Miss in 1998, when the Crusaders reached the Sweet Sixteen and everyone in America, it seemed, was a Valpo fan.

I remember going up to Valpo that week to be on campus the day the Crusaders left for the Sweet Sixteen, and it was like Hoosier Hysteria had graduated and gone to college. Good Morning America sent a film crew. Students skipped class for the sendoff. Professors skipped class for the sendoff. And in the campus bookstore, the woman behind the counter smirked and rolled her eyes when you asked how the product was moving these days.

Turns out there was no product. A sign on the door said all the Valpo Sweet Sixteen stuff was gone. And on the counter was a Valpo hat -- none-Sweet Sixteen, just a hat -- that was on its way to someone in California.

Big stuff for this humble little Lutheran school to be the nation's darling. And now they're back in again for the first time in nine years, and the head coach -- yes -- Bryce Drew.

Let the magic begin again.

Ben Smith's blog.