August 16, 2010

Butler Joins Historic Basketball Event In Indianapolis

Butler will join with Purdue, Indiana and Notre Dame in a one-day men’s basketball doubleheader that is sure to stir memories of one of the storied basketball events in state history.  The Crossroads Classic involving the four schools was finalized in a press conference at Conseco Fieldhouse on Monday, August 16.

Athletic directors Barry Collier of Butler, Morgan Burke of Purdue, Fred Glass of Indiana and Jack Swarbrick joined in announcing the formation of the non-conference doubleheader more than half a century after the same four schools gathered for the final time at Butler’s Hinkle Fieldhouse for the popular Hoosier Classic.  The updated version of that classic event will be held at Conseco Fieldhouse on Dec. 17, 2011, and again the following year on Dec. 15, 2012.

“This is a great event for college basketball,” said Collier at the press conference.  “There is a great tradition behind this, one I think that fans will embrace.  There will be a focus on these four schools, on our city and on our state at a time when attention turns to college basketball.”

Butler will meet Purdue in the second game of the first Crossroads Classic, while Notre Dame will play Indiana.  The Bulldogs then will play Indiana in 2012, with Notre Dame taking on Purdue.  Game times and ticket information will be announced at a later date.

“(The Crossroads Classic) should be a fun event for basketball fans in the state, and we are excited to be a part of the renewing of a great tradition,” said Butler head coach Brad Stevens.

The original Hoosier Classic made its debut at Butler in 1948.  It was a two-day event with preset pairings, as opposed to a standard tournament format.  Butler defeated both Purdue and Indiana to capture the “mythical” title in that initial gathering.  The Hoosier Classic was held seven more times in the next 11 years, with the four schools meeting at Hinkle Fieldhouse for the final time in December of 1959.  The following year, Illinois replaced Indiana in the field, and then the Hoosier Classic was disbanded.

In each of the eight years that the Hoosier Classic was held with Butler, Purdue, Indiana and Notre Dame, one school won both games and claimed the “mythical” title.  Indiana finished as the top team four times, Butler was unbeaten twice and Purdue and Notre Dame each finished on top once.  Legendary Butler Hall of Fame coach Paul D. “Tony” Hinkle guided the Bulldogs in each year that the Hoosier Classic was held.

“I have to believe that Coach Hinkle is smiling down on us today,” added Collier.

The athletic directors of the four participating schools each signed a Memorandum of Understanding, committing to the Crossroads Classic for two years.  The event will be reviewed after two years to assess its future.