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Staff Roundtable - The Purdue - IU Rivalry

Let’s revisit some of our favorite moments.

NCAA Basketball: Indiana at Illinois Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

With the IU game coming up fast on Saturday, previews and keys to the game will be coming out tomorrow, I wanted to have a little more fun with our rivals to the south. So I sent out a roundtable to the staff. Below are their answers.

The Purdue IU rivalry has had many great moments throughout its history but what’s one that stands out to you that has happened in your lifetime? That means no Bobby Knight chair throw included here.

Bonus question: What made you choose Purdue over IU?

Jumbo Heroes:

It’s so hard to pick just one moment. The rivalry is a highlight for me year after year. There is one that stands out to me even though it was a Purdue loss. I’d been a Purdue fan my entire life, there was no question about where I was going to college. My dad went to Purdue, my three older brothers went to Purdue, so of course I was going to Purdue. It was the only place I applied. I loved Purdue sports and especially Purdue basketball.

I came to Purdue in 2004 so I was on campus during Gene Keady’s last season. It wasn’t the best time for the team as they finished 7-21. However, I still had season tickets and made it to the games in the Gene Pool. The Hoosiers weren’t having their best season either as they finished 15-14 and would eventually lose in the first round of the NIT. IU came into Mackey and played in a double overtime thriller that saw an overmatched Purdue team almost pull off the upset. David Teague and Carl Landry led the Boilermakers and it was an example of Purdue playing harder than their opponent. It was Purdue basketball through and through even though they lost. It was the sign of a bright future to come.


Gabi Everhart

Tue, Feb 6, 10:46 AM (2 days ago)

to me

Man there are so many, good and bad (damn you JHS). There are a lot of great moments, Octeus baptizing the masses immediately comes to mind. But two games that probably stick out to me are the Haarms tip in back in 2019. That game was UGLY with a final score of 48-46. They were chanting at Haarms all night, Edwards missed the final shot and that Haarms tip in that silenced Assembly was pretty sweet. Plus we got the “calm down” Edwards gif from it. The second one was the Bobby Knight return game. IU fans had been begging for years to get Knight back to Assembly for a game but he never would. He finally came for the Purdue game in February 2020. Dick Vitale barely even commented about game as he just sang Knight praises all night, but Purdue ran the fans out of them gym early that night beating IU by double figures. Something about spoiling a night they had waited so long for felt extra special.

IU was just never on my radar. I was always a Purdue fan and it was the only school I applied to. Been bleeding black and gold ever since.


I started attending Purdue in the Fall of 2016 (yes, that technically makes me a Gen Z, but we’ll move on). Two games into the season, Purdue nearly took #3 Villanova to OT on a heave. This team was incredible and it was my first taste of college basketball in person. Fast forward three and a half months and Purdue is playing its bitter rival with a chance to clinch its 23rd Big Ten Championship. After an 11-point victory over Indiana, it is a surreal feeling to this day thinking back to the gold and black confetti raining down from the tin roof. It was the final home game for Caleb Swanigan and Spike Albrecht, who I went to the same high school as. Purdue was in the middle of winning 5 of 6 games against Indiana and the sweep was the cherry on top of the season.

I would not see Purdue lose to Indiana my entire college career and I graduated in the Spring of 2021. As some geriatric man said “it’s not a rivalry, it’s a mismatch”. Sure, IU can recruit the best of players, but considering the past decade, I think it’s clear who has the better program. And for what it’s worth, I never considered attending Indiana. I knew I wanted to become an engineer and only applied to 3 schools. Purdue was close to home, offered in-state tuition, and I never looked back. Now, I write and podcast about Purdue sports, I met my soon-to-be wife at Purdue, and I jump started my engineering career at Purdue. None of that could have happened at Indiana.


Although I wasn’t in attendance, clinching the B1G Championship at Mackey Arena over Indiana has to be high on anyone’s list. Is there a better way to clinch a championship? Beating your biggest rival, on your home court, in dominating fashion. That’s the stuff that creates resentment in a rivalry series that is as good as any in the country.

Honorable mention for me would be Chad Austin’s buzzer beater in 1997 at Indiana in overtime to get a season sweep of the Hoosiers.

So now, why Purdue? Well, it very well could have been worse. I was originally born in Champaign, IL and grew up an Illinois fan until moving to West Lafayette at four. My oldest sister attended Purdue and we simply became a Boilermaker family with all of us attending Purdue. It could have been so much worse now that I think about it.


I’m going with the 1994 game in Mackey. Purdue dropped both games the year before to one of the better IU teams in program history. The Big Dog and company were looking for revenge in ‘94, but it looked like IU was going to snipe them again before Cuonzo went nuclear in the second half and erased a 10 point deficit with a 20 point half, taking the game to overtime. The Boilermakers dominated the extra period and Glenn Robinson got his college win over long time rival Alan Henderson and the Hoosiers.

I was 13 and living in South Carolina at the time. The Indiana / Purdue game was one of the few games I was able to watch live during that incredible season. Watching Glenn go off for 32 and 13 and Cuonzo scoring 20 of his 23 points in the second half was some of the most exciting basketball I’ve seen. That game was packed with “legends” on both sides and you could tell how much it meant to everyone on the court. Sure, IU would get their revenge later in the season, winning 82-80 in Bloomington, but this game set the tone for the first in Purdue’s run of three Big 10 titles.


I actually have very little to do with the University side of Purdue. My dad went there and brainwashed me from a young age. I was the kid in my school in Aiken, South Carolina rocking Purdue gear.


Truth be told, I probably haven’t been a Purdue fan as long as everyone else here. I came to Purdue in 2016 when Caleb Swanigan was in his final season at Purdue and Carsen Edwards was just a Freshman, so the downside to that is that I don’t have the same bank of moments to dip into.

The bright side, however, is that since I’ve been a Purdue fan, the Purdue IU rivalry has been, well...

A little one-sided.

I have had (until recently) ONLY positive memories to draw from. I would be lying if I said I don’t watch the Carsen dunk before every Purdue-IU game to this day, but that answer is too easy. Instead, I would say my favorite memory from the rivalry is sitting in the front row not once, but twice during my time as a student.

The games were awesome. But it’s not just about the game as a student. Organizing the lottery and camping out the night before in Lambert are memories I will cherish as long as I live. Hearing older students’ stories of campouts from years past, having the team show up that night with pizza to thank us, and even sticking around to talk to us when they didn’t have to, it’s all such an integral part of what makes Purdue basketball so special.

Bonus: I actually came to my first Purdue game as a recruit!

… Okay you can stop laughing now. I can explain. One of my high school coaches at Terre Haute South, Maynard Lewis, played at Purdue. He wanted to take the team to a game, but to get us tickets for free we had to be invited as prospective recruits. Watching Rapheal Davis drop 24 and getting to go into the locker room post-game was a really cool experience. That’s probably when I decided I liked Purdue basketball.

But I chose to despise IU long before I was even a Purdue fan. I’m from Terre Haute, and for whatever reason, even they are just a stone’s throw from where Larry-freaking-Bird played basketball, everyone in the whole damn town seems to be an IU basketball fan. I HATED that. I remember going to a watch party to see them lose to Syracuse in 2013, and wondering, “Why do you all just cheer for them by default? Is it because someone else told you that you were supposed to? They aren’t even your home team! Hell, most of you actually went to ISU! If you all supported the Sycamores like this, maybe they could even be the better team!”

Flash-forward to 2024, and they are. Shout-out trees. IU Sucks. Boiler up.