Image provided by Butler University.
It's safe to say that Indiana colleges and universities have left their mark on college basketball with championships across all divisions. As one could imagine, there have been countless drama-filled games and moments that forever changed the schools, players, and our state as a whole. From multiple national championship-winning shots in the final moments to the infamous Gordon Hayward heave that "almost went in!", these are the 22 most iconic tournament moments for Indiana schools.
Keith Smart Hits "The Shot"
School: Indiana University Game: 1987 NCAA National Championship Game Division: DI
On March 30, 1987, Keith Smart hit one of the most iconic shots in college basketball history. With Indiana University trailing Syracuse in the final moments of the National Championship Game, Smart rose up over Syracuse player Howard Triche and drained "The Shot". This iconic moment gave IU its fifth national championship.
Matt Howard Beats Pitt at the Charity Stripe
School: Butler University Game: 2011 NCAA Round of 32 Division: DI
In a wild finish, Butler gets a late layup from Andrew Smith to take the lead, only to see Pitt go to the free-throw line with 1.4 seconds to go. After Pitt tied the game at the line, the Panthers foul Matt Howard on the rebound, allowing the Connersville native to retake the lead with 0.8 seconds on the clock and miss the second shot on purpose to ice the game, sending the Bulldogs to the Sweet 16.
The Game That Started Descended March Into Madness
Little Giants Win the 'Ship
Boilers Hold Off Vols to Advance to Elite 8
Gordon Hayward Just Inches From History
School: Butler University Game: 2010 National Championship Game Division: DI
An unexpected run to the national championship game sees Butler take Duke to the wire. A last-second half-court heave from Brownsburg's Gordon Hayward comes just inches away from shocking the world.
Irish Topple Wisconsin, Advance to Second Straight Elite Eight
School: University of Notre Dame Game: 2016 Sweet Sixteen Division: DI
The Fighting Irish knock off the Wisconsin Badgers for a second straight trip to the Elite Eight.
Isiah Thomas Leads Hoosiers Past UNC
School: Indiana University Game: 1981 National Championship Game Division: DI
As the nation held its breath to hear whether President Ronald Reagan would be okay after being shot earlier in the day, the Hoosiers defeated North Carolina 63 to 50, led by Isiah Thomas. The Hoosiers won their fourth title, finishing the season on a hot streak (the 13-point margin was Indiana's closest of the tournament) after a shaky start to the season. The nine losses the team suffered in that season were at the time the most ever by a champion.
Bryce Drew Tries on Cinderella's Glass Slipper
School: University of Valparaiso Game: 1998 First Round Division: DI
In a shot heard round the world, Bryce Drew hits a buzzer-beating three to topple the fourth-seeded Ole Miss Rebels in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Boilers Blow Out Duke, Win NCAA Title
School: Purdue University Game: 1999 National Championship Game Division: DI Women
The Purdue Boilermakers capped a 34-1 season with a national championship, defeating the Duke Blue Devils 62-45. The Boilers' 34 wins is a school and Big Ten record for victories in a season. The team was led by Ukari Figgs who was named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.
Cardinals Takes #1 UNLV To The Wire
School: Ball State University Game: 1990 Sweet Sixteen Division: DI
How sweet it is! Ball State, a 12-seed, defeated 5th-seeded Oregon State (ending Gary Payton's collegiate career) and 4th-seeded Louisville to advance to the Sweet 16, where the Cardinals gave No. 1 seed UNLV all they could handle. A lob pass was intercepted late that could have led to a Ball State victory.
Manchester Comes Within One Game of the Championship
School: Manchester University Game: 1995 NCAA DIII Championship Game Division: DIII
No stranger to national championship games himself, Manchester head coach Steve Alford led the Spartans to the 1995 NCAA DIII Championship Game.
Ogunbowale Does It Again!
School: University of Notre Dame Game: 2018 Women's Championship Game Division: DI Women's
Days after hitting a game winner to advance the Fighting Irish to the championship game, Dare Ogunbowale hits a buzzer-beating three to complete a double-digit comeback and triumph over Mississippi State. The shot won legendary coach Muffet McGraw her second NCAA title at Notre Dame (2001).
The Best of All-Time
School: Indiana University Game: 1976 National Championship Game Division: DI
The 1975-76 Hoosiers capped off an undefeated season with a victory over Michigan in the championship game. This Hoosier squad would go on to be named the best team in the history of the tournament. If not for a injury to star player Scott May in 1974-75, the Hoosiers might have won back to back undefeated national championships.
Bulldog 3s Rain on Louisville's Parade
School: Butler University Game: 2003 Round of 32 Division: DI
A barrage of three-point shots from Darnell Archey and Mike Monserez lead the Butler Bulldogs to a second-round win over fourth-seeded Louisville and a berth in the Sweet Sixteen.
Aces Cap Undefeated Season with D2 Title
School: University of Evansville Game: 1965 National Championship Game Division: D2
Led by Jerry Sloan, the Purple Aces defeated Southern Illinois, 85-82, for the NCAA College Division National Championship. Evansville finished the season with a 29-0 record.
AJ Moye Blocks Carlos Boozer, Hoosiers Beat No. 1 Duke
“Boozer BLOCKED by A.J. Moye!”#TBT pic.twitter.com/ay80iSzOmo
— Indiana Basketball (@IndianaMBB) August 22, 2019
School: Indiana University Game: 2002 Sweet Sixteen Division: DI
AJ Moye, standing 6'2, denied a dunk attempt from 6'9 All-American Carlos Boozer amid Indiana's comeback against the top-ranked Duke Blue Devils. The Hoosiers would complete the comeback and win the game en route to a berth in the National Championship game. Small quirk from the play, Moye wasn't credited with a block, as Boozer never lost the ball, it was scored as a travel and not a shot attempt.
Crenshaw's Game Winner Sends Jags to the Dance
Cardinals Stun the Vols
Evansville Stuns Oregon State
"Slick" Wins It at the Charity Stripe
School: Indiana University Game: 1953 National Championship Game Division: DI
Bobby Leonard hits game-winning free throw with 27 seconds left to win IU's second national National Championship. The Hoosiers defeated the reigning champion Kansas Jayhawks by one point.
Big Dog Leads Boilers Past Kansas
School: Purdue University Game: 1994 Sweet Sixteen Division: DI
Led by Glenn Robinson and Cuonzo Martin, the top-seeded Purdue Boilermakers defeated fourth-seeded Kansas for a trip to the Elite 8.