Erik Buggs scored a career-high 22 points, Will Bogan added 14 and top-seeded Valparaiso closed with an 18-4 run to rally past Wright State 62-54 on Tuesday night in the Horizon League tournament championship game.
The win sends the Crusaders (26-7) back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2004 with a six-game winning streak and the school's single-season record for victories. The previous mark of 25 was set in 2001-02 when coach Bryce Drew's father, Homer, was coaching the Crusaders.
Reggie Arceneaux scored 14 points for the Raiders (21-12), who rallied from a 36-25 halftime deficit to take a 50-44 lead with 5:25 to go.
But the mistake-prone Crusaders regrouped late, retaking the lead when Buggs made one of two free throws with 2:53 to play and not giving up another point until 8.3 seconds remained.