Indiana-Purdue is the oldest and best rivalry in the state, and 119 years of multi-sport competition will bring out some beautiful stories and statistics from both teams. As we enter the men's basketball phase of the rivalry, here are some of the best and most beautiful facts to help you impress your friends and win prizes at pub quizzes.
- Purdue won 51 of its first 62 games against Indiana, which stretched between 1901 and 1939. The Boilermakers currently lead the all-time series 120-89.
- The schools have faced off once during March Madness, in the 1980 Sweet Sixteen. Purdue won 76-69, and then lost in the Final Four to UCLA. This highlights a bit of a theme for Purdue, which holds a 3-8 all-time record against the Bruins.
- Purdue's longest win streak in rivalry history stretched over 11 games, between 1909 and 1914. IU's longest streak was 13 games, between 1949 and 1955. Neither team has amassed more than seven consecutive wins since then.
- Purdue's largest margin of victory came in a game dubbed the "Mauling at Mackey." Purdue would go on to appear in the 1969 National Championship game and lose to former Purdue player John Wooden's UCLA team — I told you it was a theme — in the third of seven consecutive National Championships, from 1967-73, for Wooden's Bruins.
- The rivalry's Wikipedia page reads, "Purdue is an engineering research university located in the northern portion of Indiana, while Indiana University is located in the southern portion of the state." This, perhaps incorrectly, suggests that IU has no notable academics whatsoever. If you are an IU fan or alum and you're currently reading this column, hello! Please leave a comment with IU’s most well-known/prestigious academic area so we can fix the entry. I am completely serious.
We'll end this by talking about Bobby Knight and the chair-throwing incident, because it happened during a Purdue-IU game. The following statements are true unless indicated otherwise.
The dramatic retelling goes that Knight hated chairs. HATED 'em. He once got so mad at a chair that he threw it across the court during the February 1985 rivalry game in Bloomington because it sassed him. The chair took its revenge by throwing him out of the game and was never seen again.
The actual story goes that Knight got real mad that two foul calls in a row went against the Hoosiers within the first five minutes of that game. He got a technical foul for not having a good time, threw a chair onto the court and got ejected like he was a baseball coach.
In the video of the incident, someone grabs the chair off the sideline and disappears into the crowd with it. My guess is that they've either got it locked in a secure vault under Assembly Hall, or it's in the trophy case next to the Old Oaken Bucket.
Knight has since joked that he threw the chair because he saw an old woman standing across the court from him and threw the chair so she could sit down. This doesn't explain why it sailed into the photographers sitting on the floor.
The incident was later spoofed by Ron Swanson in the "Parks and Recreation" episode "Go Big or Go Home." His throw had better form than Knight's, though. It's a proper and powerful Midwestern hurl.
Indiana lost that game by 9 points.