We know that the Indiana Hoosiers have a rival in Purdue. That’s their main bloodfeud. But the IU series with the Illini has seen a lot of emotional moments as well. You had Eric Gordon going Judas on Bruce Weber at the last possible moment, to defect to Kelvin Sampson and the Hoosiers in 2007. Gordon was a one-and-done to the NBA anyway, but Illini fans still seethe because the incident stained recruiting for years and forced them to endure the time in which Trent Meachem was the starting two guard.
And Gordon was right to leave Bloomington when he did, as Sampson utterly destroyed the Hoosiers program. From Tyler Griffey’s buzzer beater lay-in (which set off a court-storming at the real Assembly Hall this year) to Nick Anderson’s buzzer beater at the other/second Assembly Hall in the ’80s, to the Hoosiers storming the court in 2010 with the Illini their first ranked victim in three years (thank Demetri McCamey for that one), this series has had its powerful moments.
The Hoosiers are tied all time with the Illini at 84 wins apiece. The Illini are 5-1 versus IU in the Big Ten Tournament, but also 0-3 versus the tourney’s top seed; which happens to be IU. Illinois beat the Hoosiers February 7th (the Griffey buzzer beater I mentioned earlier), their only meeting of the season. That was one of three buzzer-beaters for the Illini this season. D.J. Richardson had a game winning three versus Hawaii, and Brandon Paul drained a 15-footer in a tourney win over the Gophers yesterday. Griffey came close versus Gardner-Webb, draining a game-winning three in the waning seconds, but GW still had time to get a shot off, so it doesn’t count.
As added intrigue, the wife of first year Illini Coach John Groce is an IU grad.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of visitors. He’s an author who also contributes regularly to MSN, Fox Sports , Chicago Now, Walter Football.com and Yardbarker
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