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A Ton Of Memories

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I've been part of so many incredible Purdue-Indiana games, it's very hard to pick favorites. I'll attempt to do so, though.

Any game that saw Gene Keady and Bob Knight coach against each other was priceless. Truly one of the greatest coaching rivalries in college basketball history.

The chills you would feel at Mackey Arena when Bob DeMoss would lead Knight out of the south tunnel and onto the floor were unrivaled.

I only go back to 1977, but there have been a ton of memories made in that time. Chad Austin's game winner in Bloomington, Knight's famous chair toss and IU's Greg Graham making 26 free throws in a game are a few highlights.

My two favorite games in the series are Purdue's 76-69 victory at Rupp Arena on March 13, 1980, and the Boilermakers' 61-59 victory at Mackey Arena on March 15, 1992.

I was a backup announcer to Henry Rosenthal during the first game. Henry was the owner of WASK in Lafayette, and originated all the Purdue broadcasts before the days of radio networks having exclusive rights. Henry passed this summer and is a member of Purdue's Athletics Hall of Fame as a contributor.

Purdue was part of a loaded field that played the Midwest Regional in Lexington. The Boilermakers were the sixth seed in the region, but won two games at home, beating third-seeded St. John's to advance to the Sweet 16.

Waiting for them was seventh-ranked Indiana. In the other semi, Duke took on top-seeded Kentucky. Lee Rose's team had split with the Hoosiers during the regular season, so this was the rubber match in front of a sold-out crowd at Rupp.

Purdue's Joe Barry Carroll was the premier big man in college basketball, and Isaiah Thomas was in his first year with the Hoosiers. One of my lasting memories of that game was a nifty pass by Kevin Stallings in the closing seconds.

IU was favored in the game, so it was a great win, but the true stunner came later that night. Duke, coached by Bill Foster, upset heavily-favored Kentucky and opened the flood gates for available tickets for the regional final.

Of course, Purdue went on to beat Duke, 68-60, to reach the Final Four in Indianapolis.

My second-favorite game was March 15, 1992. Purdue was 18-15 that year and was destroyed by the Hoosiers, 106-65, in late January in Bloomington. As you can imagine, the Boilermakers weren't given a chance, as IU was a prime contender for the national title.

Purdue won the game, 61-59, with Craig Riley playing the role of hero. The Boilermaker victory sent Knight into a tizzy, and cost the Hoosiers a share of the Big Ten title and a No. 1 seed close to home in the NCAA Tournament.

The NCAA shipped the Hoosiers to Boise, Idaho, as a No. 2 seed.

I remember distinctly after the game that when Knight approached the postgame media room, Woody Austin was being interviewed, so he turned around and left.

We probably did IU a favor. The Hoosiers blew through the West Regional and lost to eventual national champion Duke in the Final Four.

I don't know what this year's game at Mackey will bring to the table. You never know.

I'll make a calculated guess, though, that you won't see any furniture flying through the air courtesy of Matt Painter or Tom Crean. That, I think, was a once-in-a-lifetime moment.

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