Purdue and IU Square Off in Intense B-Ball Rivalry

Connor Fisher, Staff Writer

The Indiana-Purdue rivalry is known to be one of the biggest rivalries in college basketball history. The rivalry started on March 2, 1901, making it the oldest rivalry in the big ten. Even though Indiana has won five more national championships than Purdue, Purdue still manages to lead the series 115-89. Purdue leads the big ten in conference championships at 22, while the Hoosiers have 21 conference championships. These numbers show how these outstanding programs usually prove to make for an exciting and intense matchup.

Going into the matchup on February 20 in Assembly Hall, the Boilermakers were ranked 17th nationally, while the Hoosiers were ranked 22nd nationally, marking the first ranked matchup between the two teams since 2007. The home team, IU, was favored by 5 points, primarily because of their stellar 15-0 record at home this year. The Hoosiers focused on keeping Purdue’s unbelievable size in the front court positions in check. The Boilermakers strived to maintain their defensive intensity in preparing for the game.

However, neither of these things were accomplished for the teams during the majority of the game. Indiana won the game because they were still able to stick to part of their gameplan and shoot the three well, while Purdue struggled to make Indiana uncomfortable on offense. Indiana turned the ball over three times. On the other hand, Purdue turned the ball over nineteen times. Even though the Boilermakers shot the ball well at 59%, the amount of shots they took was much lower than the season average. These lost possessions could have very easily been the difference in a close, four point game.

Once again, the amplitude and intensity of the Indiana-Purdue game was mind-blowing and the deafening atmosphere of the home team played a role in the rivalry as usual. Both teams have the potential, depth, and talent to make it to the Final Four in March.