With the 2019-’20 college basketball season wrapping up, it’s a great time to look back on the decade for the Big Ten. While the league didn’t win a national championship during the 2010s, it did send a variety of teams to the Final Four and had plenty of quality play.
So, in that mindset, BTP is looking at the most memorable games for each Big Ten team during the 2010s. These aren’t necessarily the most significant or the most fiercely contested games. Rather, they’re the most memorable. So, just because a game came in the postseason doesn’t guarantee it a spot on this list.
But before we jump in, a few other notes on our criteria. To qualify for this list, a game needed to happen sometime between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2019. I realize that cuts between two seasons, but that’s the criteria we’re using. A team also didn’t have to win a game for it to make this list. For instance, Michigan’s loss to Louisville in the 2013 title game was certainly memorable, even though the Wolverines didn’t come out on top.
With that, let’s look at the 10 most memorable games for the Indiana Hoosiers over the last decade.
The Most Memorable Indiana Games During The 2010s:
-Kentucky at Indiana (December 10, 2011) — Indiana 73, Kentucky 72
How could we start this list with any other game? In one of the most dramatic finishes of the decade, Indiana scored its first monumental win of the Tom Crean era, knocking off the Anthony Davis-led Wildcats on a last second buzzer beater. Kentucky was ranked first nationally at tip-off. It was one of only two losses for Kentucky that season, as the Wildcats went on to win the national championship.
Unfortunately, this game also marked the last regular season meeting between Indiana and Kentucky for the foreseeable future. Some have blamed John Calipari for ending the series, citing this heartbreaking result for putting one of college basketball’s best rivalries on ice.
-Indiana vs. Butler (December 15, 2012) — Butler 88, Indiana 86 (OT)
In a lot of ways, this was the inverse of the Kentucky game mentioned above. This time, Indiana entered the game ranked atop the polls and seemingly en route to some hardware that season. The Hoosiers were led by Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller. All told, the game ended up coming down to the final seconds after Butler (coached by Brad Stevens at the time) made a ferocious comeback and scored the win in overtime. It was one of only two non-conference losses Indiana suffered all season.
-Michigan at Indiana (February 2, 2013) — Indiana 81, Michigan 73
This game gets a little overshadowed in what was an epic season for the Big Ten, but it’s one that deserves to be included on this list. Indiana and Michigan entered this game ranked in the top three nationally and put on a heck of a show. Michigan ended up going to the Final Four that year and featured National Player of the Year Trey Burke. However, Indiana proved to be too much for the Wolverines thanks to 19 points from Cody Zeller.
With the win, Indiana improved to 20-2 on the season and seemed destined for greatness in March. Many remember this game best for the Victor Oladipo dunk that sealed things late.
-Indiana at Michigan (March 10, 2013) — Indiana 72, Michigan 71
This was the second game between Indiana and Michigan during the 2012-’13 season and also arrived with plenty of excitement. A win for Indiana meant an outright Big Ten regular season title and a win for Michigan meant a share of the Big Ten title. That’s about as intense as it gets. All told, the Hoosiers came out on top after Jordan Morgan failed to convert on a late layup attempt. The game also had a memorable postgame exchange:
The win gave Crean his first Big Ten regular season title at Indiana and assured the 2012-’13 season ended with at least some hardware. Some will argue this was the height for the Hoosiers that year, as the team had some missteps in the postseason in the weeks ahead.
-Indiana vs. Syracuse (March 28, 2013) — Syracuse 61, Indiana 50
This is one of those games that will be remembered as a “what if” for Hoosier fans. After putting together one of the most impressive regular seasons in Indiana history, the team advanced to the Sweet 16 to face Syracuse. The Hoosiers were solid favorites before tip.
Unfortunately for Indiana, things would fall apart against the Orange. The team never figured out Syracuse’s zone defense and posted a disappointing 0.77 points per possession during the outing. Syracuse ended up going on to make the Final Four, but it still feels like the better team and roster lost this game.
-Indiana at Iowa (March 1, 2016) — Indiana 81, Iowa 78
After a few down years, Indiana got back on track in 2015-’16 and would go on to win the outright Big Ten regular season title that year. And the matchup against Iowa in early March was the game that finished things off for the Hoosiers, as the team improved to 24-6 overall and 14-3 in Big Ten play. It was certainly a noteworthy win in a memorable season for fans.
-Indiana vs Kentucky (March 19, 2016) — Indiana 73, Kentucky 67
While this game wasn’t as memorable as the matchup between Indiana and Kentucky listed above, it still had plenty of sizzle. To start, it was the first meeting between the two rivals in nearly four years after the regular season series went on hiatus. Add in NCAA Tournament implications on the line and there was plenty to get excited about. All told, Indiana was able to grab a 73-67. Thomas Bryant led the win with 19 points.
-Indiana vs Georgia Tech (March 14, 2017) — Georgia Tech 75, Indiana 63
At face value, it might seem a bit odd to include an NIT game on this list. However, this one deserves to make the cut. After years of inconsistency, this marked the final game of Crean’s tenure with Indiana, as he was fired just a few days later. Crean’s tenure cannot be deemed a failure, given his achievements in 2012, 2013, and 2016. Nonetheless, it was a disappointing end for what started out so hopeful.
-Indiana State at Indiana (November 10, 2017) — Indiana State 90, Indiana 69
After a dramatic offseason that included Indiana firing Crean and hiring Archie Miller, hopes were high for the 2017-’18 season. Unfortunately, things started off with an absolute dud, as Indiana fell to lowly Indiana State at home in its season opener. It would be a sign of things to come for Miller in Bloomington, as his first two teams failed to make the NCAAs.
-Indiana vs. Nebraska (March 11, 2020) — Indiana 89, Nebraska 64
Even a few days before this game took place, this didn’t project to be a matchup that deserved a spot on this list. But with the COVID-19 pandemic and the dramatic events on March 10th and 11th, it quickly took a renewed significance. Indiana ended up winning the game, but fans will remember this for years as the game that ended college basketball. Nebraska head coach Fred Hoiberg could be seen court-side experiencing flu-like symptoms, which caused fans and the media to go into an uproar.
Disagree with our list? Tell us your picks in the comments below.