I’m glad they didn’t screw this up.
Sometimes, when egos get involved, poor decisions are made. Continuing the Crossroads Classic is not only great for the four big Indiana schools but it’s special for basketball fans.
The universities announced Tuesday that the classic — held downtown Indianapolis at Bankers Life Fieldhouse — will continue at least two more years.
The annual Saturday doubleheader features Indiana’s basketball heavyweights: Indiana, Purdue, Notre Dame and Butler. All four should make the NCAA Tournament next season.
After a successful inaugural event in December, this move had to be made. And you could sense it coming from the moment the head coaches took the podium.
Each of them were asked the about classic that brought Indiana’s four powerhouse programs together, and they each spoke very highly of it.
More indications of how well the event went over: tickets sold-out, media were turned down, Indianapolis bars were packed and both games were nationally televised.
I’ve was riding this idea, even before public discussions were made. Indiana and basketball go together, so why not show them off at one competitive afternoon of hoops.
Right now, I like keeping it to these four teams. However, I could see after this second contract , where the argument could be made to easily expanded the classic to two more games. Throw in IUPUI, IPFW, Indiana State and Evansville for example, and it could be a packed day of hoops at one, if not the greatest, basketball arenas in the world.
Next year’s classic, planned for Dec. 15, 2012, will pit Indiana against Butler and Purdue versus Notre Dame.
Future dates and matchups:
Dec. 14, 2013: Indiana vs. Notre Dame, Purdue vs. Butler
Dec. 20, 2014. Indiana vs. Butler, Purdue vs. Notre Dame.
From the Athletic Directors:
Indiana’s Fred Glass: “I think very early on you could see the excitement building about having these four programs together at one venue. I think it has quickly become a showcase event for college basketball fans in the state of Indiana.”
Notre Dame’s Jack Swarbrick: “College fans were treated to a great day of basketball last year, and I am thrilled that all four schools have agreed to extend the contract for two more years. Indianapolis and Bankers Life Fieldhouse proved to be ideal hosts and we are fortunate to be able to partner with them once again. Notre Dame looks forward to building this into not only one of the premier college basketball events in the country, but also into a platform for broader collaboration among four great universities.”
Butler’s Barry Collier: “Butler University is proud to be a part of this premier and unique event. The competition will continue to showcase our four institutions and their teams in an electric atmosphere in a great venue. Indianapolis is the perfect location for these elite college basketball match-ups!”
Purdue’s Morgan Burke: “Purdue is pleased to extend this event two additional years in partnership with Butler, Indiana and Notre Dame. The inaugural year highlighted spirited competition, as well as large and lively crowds. We hope the Crossroads Classic will be a holiday tradition in Indianapolis for many years to come.”