The Terps first NCAA tournament game under Mark Turgeon has them in Columbus Friday afternoon facing Horizon League champion Valparaiso (4:40 tip, 105.7 The Fan). If you’re on your game you might remember there’s some history here. The Terps and Valpo have met just once, that game was the opening round of the 1999 NCAA Tournament with 2-seed Maryland winning 82-60.

Laron Profit and Terence Morris had 18 points apiece. Steve Francis had 15 points, six rebounds and seven assists for the Terrapins. Maryland eventually lost to St. John’s in the regional semifinal. So who are these Valpariso Crusaders who stand between the Terps and a chance to advance in the dance? Glad you asked.

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• Valparaiso, Indiana is located about an hour southeast of Chicago and the private school enrolls about 4,500 hundred students.

• In the early 1900’s at the height of enrollment, it was the second-largest school in the nation and was called “The Poor Man’s Harvard.” In 1925 the Lutheran University Association outbid the Ku Klux Klan for the school’s ownership.

• Valpo sports alum’s include Lloyd McClendon manager of the Seattle Mariners and Fred “Fuzzy” Thurston a guard who played for the Baltimore Colts and was a key part of Vince Lombardi’s 5-championship teams with the Green Bay Packers.

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• Bryce Drew is a 2-time Horizon Coach of the Year, is in his 4th year as head coach of the Crusaders. Drew hit one of the most famous shots in NCAA tournament history when his buzzer-beater gave Valpo a shocking win over Mississippi in the 1998 tournament. His Dad Homer Drew was his coach at the time.

• This will be the ninth time Valpo has made the tournament since 1996 but they haven’t had a win since Drew’s miracle shot in ’98.

• They have only been outrebounded twice in 33 games. The Crusaders are big. They can go 6-10, 6-9, 6-9 up front and have a 6-8 guard.

• Valpo has won three regular season Horizon League titles in four years and 2 straight conference tournaments.

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If Melo Trimble and Dez Wells take care of business Valpo will head home to Indiana and the Terps will get ready for round 2 on Sunday. But caution! At least one 13 seed has pulled a Round of 64 upset in 6 of the last 7 years. According to BPI, Valparaiso is the most likely 13-seed to win (31%). Both 4-seeds survived on Thursday, but a record five 1-point wins the first day, and that’s why we call it March Madness.