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Sunday, March 24, 2013

My Top 10 Crusader Moments of 2012-2013

It was record setting year for the Valparaiso Crusaders.  There were many exciting moments as the Crusaders set a school record for victories in a year and made the NCAA tournament for the first time in a long time.  Before we get to the top ten lets get to my honorable mention.

Honorable Mention
* Wright State knocks Detroit out of the Horizon League tournament at the buzzer. I think the best part of this video was all the people in gold shirts jumping in celebration.  For about 10 minutes that night, Crusader fans were Wright State fans!

Top Ten Moments in Valpo's 2012-2013 Season
10 - Valpo plays in ESPN's 24 hours of basketball
The 7am start was early for the players, but they woke up by the second half to put away a bad NIU team. I thought this was a great way to start the season on national television.

9 - Keith Carter Transfers to Valparaiso
Carter was a good get by Coach Drew, adding the talented guard to an already strong incoming class (see #8).  Carter will most likely crack the starting lineup in mid/late December when he becomes eligible.   

8 - The Incoming Recruiting Class
The incoming freshmen will hopefully help ease the pain of losing the 6 graduating seniors.  This incoming class is loaded with offensive talent.  Nick Davidson, Lexus Williams, Clay Yeo, Alec Peters, and Jubril Adekoya can all fill up the stat sheets.  Several of these guys will see significant playing time immediately with a few probably cracking the starting lineup.

7 - Senior Night Clinching Horizon League Regular Season Crown
Senior night put our Crusaders up against a short handed Youngstown State team.  YSU kept it close for most of the game, but Valpo's experience proved too much down the stretch.  It was an exciting night and a great way for this group to end their regular season home career.  

6 - Two Future Professional Athletes in One Photo
Of course I'm talking about the photo of my son and Ryan Broekhoff.  E is an aspiring baseball player and, well, we all know what Ryan's deal is.  The photo came out a little blury (ok a lot blury) but it was a moment my son won't soon forget.

5 - Harlem Shake Valpo Style
Yes we lost the game in heart breaking fashion to Detroit.  But, not all was lost.  The Valparaiso student section pulled off one of the best Harlem Shakes.  Lets look at a few of the stars of the video.  First, garbage can guy is fantastic. His grace moving around the others while keeping the beat with the can is quite impressive.  Next is a team effort between the penguin who slides across the court and the guy who comes up next to him calling him safe.  Then there is the cheerleader in the corner, the one who does the splits.  Shortly after the splits she is doing something with her finger.  I'm not sure what you call that dance move, but I'm sure her mother is quite proud. Next, the kids who wipe the court dry did a great job staying out of the way.  Lastly, we have the fella in the American flag hoodie getting way to far out on the court allowing the ref an opportunity to get in the video.

4 - 22 Point Comeback at Detroit
First off, who doesn't like beating Detroit?  Coming back from such a huge deficit in the second half to our rivals made it even sweeter (granted we would return the favor on our home court later in the season).  My favorite part of this game was Erik Buggs completely shutting down HLPOY Ray McCallum.

3 - Valpo Wins the Horizon League Tournament
After watching a big lead disappear, Valpo fans were getting a little nervous that the team would once again come up short in their bid for an NCAA appearance. But once again, Buggs would put this team on his back and Ryan Broekhoff would bury a huge three pointer and Valpo would prevail.

2 - Traveling to Auburn Hills for NCAA
I was lucky enough to travel to Auburn Hills for the big game.  Playing with an injured KVW, Valpo really didn't have much of a chance against a much bigger/stronger/talented Michigan State team.  Still it was excited to get to cheer for this very likable team one more time.

1 - Broekhoff Beats the Buzzer
Selecting the number one spot was tough.  Thinking back to this game and the emotional roller coaster the fans/players were on I had to put this in the top spot.  With my son in my arms balling his eyes out because "the refs are cheating, Brown is holding our guys everytime" I tried time and time again to reassure him that Valpo would find a way.  Thank goodness for a sequence of three events: Matt Kenney hitting a three from the corner over the 7' Brown, Brown missing a free throw, and Broekhoff hitting that fall away three pointer (Bryce Drew falling backwards nearly warranted it owns place in the top ten). Here are three different looks at the moment that will be remembered forever from this season. Behind the student section "Holy Moly", the ESPN call, and the call from Crusader Radio guy Todd Ickow "McPherson gets giddily"