Purdue opened Mackey Arena on December 2, 1967 against alum John Wooden and mighty UCLA. The Boilers lost that first game by 2, but back then if you challenged mighty UCLA you had done something.
That means the 50th anniversary is coming up this year, so naturally, Purdue would like to play at home that weekend. It is a Saturday, so it would be perfect to have a celebration game honoring the arena’s history.
As it turns out, we may not be able to:
If Purdue plays a home game on Dec. 2, 2017, however, it will do so against a Big Ten Conference opponent.
Big Ten senior associate commissioner Mark Rudner on Tuesday said all league teams will play two games over the first weekend in December — one at home and one on the road. Teams will play either Friday and Sunday (Dec. 1-3) or Saturday and Monday (Dec. 2-4).
Thanks to the
glorious stupidity, blatant cash-grab, brilliant decision by Supreme Overlord Jim Delaney, the Big Ten season must begin early this year due to the Big Ten Tournament taking place at Madison Square Garden during the first part of Championship Week. that pushes everything during basketball season back a week, meaning earlier Big Ten games.
As a result, we may not even get to play at home on the 50th anniversary of opening Mackey Arena. We certainly would not get to choose our opponent. This would be the perfect opportunity to schedule a home and home with UCLA and agree to go out there in a coming season as a way to honor John Wooden’s legacy.
Now we get to begin Big Ten play and defend our title with two games immediately after getting back from the Bahamas. The final game down there is November 24, so we had better be ready to go once we return since there will be two Big Ten games the following weekend.
Also, if the decision to mess with basketball scheduling wasn’t dumb enough, December 2nd is the date of the Big Ten Football Championship Game in Indianapolis. While it is highly unlikely that Purdue will be playing in that, at least two schools will have to balance their Big Ten basketball openers with that.
All I ask from the Big Ten schedule makers is two things: 1. Give us a home game on December 2nd for the 50th anniversary, and 2. make sure we play Indiana twice. Of course, Delaney screwed everything else up here, so I am expecting a road game at Indiana on December 2nd for our only matchup with IU.