Bracket Projection: Valparaiso
Will the Crusaders' offensive efficiency be enough to outlast athletic squads?
- AP Photo/Joe RaymondRyan Broekhoff led Valparaiso in both points and rebounds per game this season.
The Valparaiso Crusaders won their first Horizon League title since 2004. With one of the most experienced teams in the country, can the Bryce Drew-coached Crusaders awaken the ghosts and shock a heavily favored first-round opponent, as his own squad did 15 years ago?
ESPN Insider has your answers, as Joe Lunardi has enlisted a team of Bracketologists to compile advanced metrics, key scouting intel and best- and worst-case tournament scenarios for all 68 teams, in order to help you make smart picks in your bracket. Plus, as Lunardi fills out his bracket, he'll give you his prediction on how each team will fare.
I suppose a nostalgic pairing with Ole Miss would have been too much to ask. Instead it will be Bryce Drew as coach, not Bryce Drew as player, trying to spring a big-time upset. This would be even bigger than Drew's miracle as a player, as I can't think of a coach less susceptible to miracles than Michigan State's Tom Izzo. This upset simply isn't going to happen.
Best wins: at Detroit, Eastern Kentucky
Worst losses: Loyola (Ill.), Youngstown State
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Joe Lunardi and his team of analysts have broken down every NCAA tournament team's strengths, weaknesses and player tendencies.