Indiana-Purdue Rivalry Oozes With Tradition

What's your favorite Purdue-Indiana game?

Perhaps it's the Hoosiers' 41-point blowout over the visitors in 1992 or IU's 1987 double-digit home win over No. 4 Purdue. If you're a Boilermaker backer, thoughts of the Austin brothers slaying Bob Knights' IU teams in the 1990s come to mind and so does the infamous chair-throwing game in 1985.

Regardless, if you're like me, when you think of what I consider the greatest rivalry in all of college sports, there are many classics to talk about.

I'm sure many of you can relate when I say I've grown up with the Purdue-Indiana rivalry. Being born and raised in Anderson, Ind. before going to high school in Indianapolis, the rivalry has been in my blood for more than four decades.

In my adult life, I've been blessed to cover many of these classic Purdue-Indiana basketball battles in person.

If you asked me to assemble a top-five or top-10 list of all-time Boilermaker-Hoosier games, here are the ones I would at the very least consider (Note: I'm sure I'm missing many) …

• Purdue's 61-59 win over No. 4 Indiana in 1992, less than two months after the Hoosiers humiliated the visiting Boilermakers 106-65. Do the names Woody Austin and Craig Riley come to mind?

• The 16th-ranked Hoosiers beating the ninth-ranked Boilermakers, 82-80, in Assembly Hall despite Robinson's unbelievable 39-point performance. About a month earlier, the Big Dog had 33 in Purdue's 83-76 overtime win in Mackey Arena.

• In January of 2005 in what would be Gene Keady's last Purdue-Indiana game in Mackey, the Hoosiers won 75-73 in double overtime. After receiving a full-court pass Carl Landry scored and was fouled as time expired. Although Landry released the shot after the buzzer, the officials ruled (incorrectly I might add) that he had been fouled before time expired and gave him the continuation to count the basket and sent him to the foul line for one shot to win it. He missed it and IU prevailed in the second extra session.

• Purdue knocked off Indiana in the inaugural Big Ten Tournament in 1998, 76-71, in Chicago when the heart and soul of the Boilermakers, Brian Cardinal, was sick as a dog with the flu. That happened to be the only time in the conference tourney that Purdue and IU have met.

• IU's one- and two-point wins over Purdue in 1989 were classics.

• How about the Feb. 29, 2000 showdown when both teams were nationally ranked - they've only both been ranked when they've met one other time since (2008)? That turned out to be the last Keady-Knight matchup and was a game IU won by 14 points.

• Perhaps I would have a co-No. 1 with Chad Austin's 1997 overtime buzzer-beater in Assembly Hall tying with the game-winning three-pointer he hit with 13.7 seconds left a year prior to nip the Hoosiers, 74-72, in Bloomington. Those were incredible wins by Purdue, especially when you consider how rare it is for the Boilermakers to win in Assembly Hall. The fact that my press row seat was on the court for both those shots doesn't hurt either of those game's causes.

Trying to put together a top-five or even a top-10 list is next to impossible because I feel as though I'm leaving so many great games between these two storied programs out.

As fondly as I remember the games, I vividly recall some of the terrific matchups the rivalry has given us when it comes to standout players. In the 1990s, there was Glenn Robinson vs. Alan Henderson, and in the 1980s, a pair of Indiana Mr. Basketball winners collided when Troy Lewis led his Purdue teams against Steve Alford's IU squads.

But the Purdue-Indiana rivalry is so much more than the individuals who have had the honor of being a part of it.

It's a rivalry that means so much to so many.

It's about the Big Ten's two most successful basketball programs clashing twice a year and providing the hoops-crazed fans in the state of Indiana, and around the country for that matter, with memories that will last forever.

It simply doesn't get any better than the Boilermakers vs. the Hoosiers.

So tonight, sit back and enjoy the greatest college rivalry there is.