While the Crusaders’ run to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 1998 is undoubtedly the highlight of Valparaiso University’s basketball postseason history, Valpo has built a strong tradition of consistently sending teams to postseason tournaments.
The Crusaders’ postseason experience dates back to the 1930s, as Valpo advanced to the National Intercollegiate Basketball Tournament in 1938 and 1943. Valpo also earned a spot in the NCAA College Division Basketball Championship (now the Division II Championship) five times in the 1960s and 1970s, advancing as far as the national quarterfinals in 1962 and 1967.
More recently, Valpo has made a habit of advancing to national postseason tournaments more often than not. The Crusaders have earned seven NCAA Tournament berths since 1996, including winning a pair of games in 1998. Valpo has also been selected to take part in the National Invitation Tournament (2002 and 2012), College Basketball Invitational (2008 – first-round win at Washington) and CollegeInsider.com Tournament (2011). Nineteen consecutive four-year classes, beginning with the class of 1996, have experienced at least one postseason tournament over their four years.
With the Horizon League regular-season championship in 2011-2012, the Crusaders earned an automatic bid to the NIT.