Valpo puts on Cinderella shoe again

Valpo puts on Cinderella shoe again
March 11, 2013, 9:15 pm
Share This Post

If anyone knows how to celebrate a buzzer beater, it's Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew.

"I was on the ground. I was fired up," Drew would later say.

This time he wasn't talking about his legendary March Madness shot that turned the Crusaders into Cinderella in 1998. Fifteen years later Drew was watching Valpo's next big buzzer beater as the head coach.

His senior Ryan Broekhoff launching a 3-pointer against Wisconsin-Green Bay in the Horizon League semifinals. It puts Valpo within one more win of the school's eighth NCAA Tournament appearance.

"Hundreds of games in the NBA I sat on the bench, and this is comparable to any buzzer-beater I've seen," Drew told reporters after the 70-69 win.

After upsetting Ole Miss with what's known as "The Shot," Drew hit the floor and let his teammates pile on top. After seeing Broekhoff save their season, Drew flopped on his back and soaked in another surreal moment.

"I just kind of flung it up and hoped and prayed. I never expected it to go in. It felt terrible coming out of the hands. I'm just so thankful it went in," Broekhoff told reporters after the game.

He was 7 years old when his coach hit one of the biggest jumpers in college basketball history. Now the Crusaders are hoping to take that last big step on Tuesday night against Wright State. The small Lutheran university hasn't been to "The Dance" since 2004. Broekhoff already added to school lore, but there's more to accomplish.

"I think it's still number two all-time behind coach. It's been an unbelievable year, and we're not done yet. We've still got one more game on Tuesday that we need to turn our attention to now," Broekhoff said.

Another "Luthern Miracle" in the making? They're praying for it in Northwest Indiana.