LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It is the most amazing and deflating statistic in the history of Indiana University men's basketball:
That is the Hoosiers' all-time record in the Big Ten Tournament: 24 appearances and zero trophies taken back to Bloomington.
Former IU head coach Bob Knight pushed back against the idea of a Big Ten tournament for years, helping to stop the league from adding the event until 1998. IU won its first Big Ten tournament game against Ohio State and then lost to Purdue, which didn't improve Knight's attitude.
The following season the Hoosiers, as the 3-seed, were flattened by 11-seed Illinois, 82-66. The storyline was established: persistent heartburn.
Over 24 seasons, IU's Big Ten Tournament record sits at a gloomy at a 15-24. The Hoosiers' .385 winning percentage is worse than Penn State and worse than Minnesota.
Knight, Mike Davis, Kelvin Sampson, Dan Dakich, Tom Crean, Archie Miller and Mike Woodson have all tried to end the curse, and Davis is the only one able to advance the Hoosiers to the title game. IU lost to Iowa, 63-61, in the 2001 final.
Will 2023 be different?
Tune in this week as the fun begins in Chicago on Wednesday evening.
DATES: Wednesday through Sunday.
LOCATION: The United Center, Chicago.
TV: The Big Ten Network will carry the first 10 games through the quarterfinals Friday night. Coverage will shift to CBS on Saturday and Sunday, with the title game airing at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) Sunday, leading into the NCAA Tournament Selection Show.
HOOSIERS' FIRST GAME: Indiana will open at 9 p.m. (EST) Friday against 14-seed Minnesota, 11-seed Nebraska or 6-seed Maryland. The Gophers and Cornhuskers play Wednesday night, with the winner getting the Terps on Thursday night.
LAST TIME VS. MINNESOTA/NEBRASKA/MARYLAND: IU went 2-1 against that trio playing each only once. The Hoosiers beat Nebraska, 81-65, in Bloomington on Dec. 7 and handled Minnesota, 61-57, in Minneapolis on Jan. 25. IU lost at Maryland, 66-55,on Jan. 31.
DEFENDING CHAMP: Fran McCaffery and his Iowa Hawkeyes made 48 three-pointers in four games to beat Northwestern, Rutgers, Indiana and Purdue to win the 2022 tournament in Indianapolis as the 5-seed.
THE FAVORITE: Purdue won 11 of its first 12 Big Ten conference games and finished three games ahead of Indiana and Northwestern.
THE DARKHORSE: It's always dangerous to overlook Michigan State, which has won four of the last 10 tournaments. The Spartans won five of their last seven games to win the 4-seed and a double bye.
WHO'S HOT: Would you believe Penn State and Nebraska? Both the Nittany Lions and Cornhuskers have won five of their last six. Give a slight edge to the Nittany Lions because their only loss in that stretch was by three points against Rutgers.
WHO'S NOT: After starting 8-4, Rutgers wobbled to the finish line, losing six of its last eight, including a spectacular meltdown at Minnesota.
NCAA LOCKS: Purdue (projected 1-seed at BracketMatrix.com); Indiana (4-seed); Michigan State (7-seed); Northwestern (7-seed); Iowa (8-seed); Maryland (8-seed) and Illinois (8-seed).
NCAA BUBBLE TEAMS: Rutgers (11-seed); Penn State (11-seed)
NCAA WORK TO DO: Wisconsin and Michigan.
STAR GAZING: Purdue's Zach Edey has been the frontrunner for Big Ten and national player of the year for most of the season, although Indiana's Trayce Jackson-Davis has similar scoring and rebounding numbers with more blocks and assists. Penn State guard Jalen Pickett is the most overlooked player in the nation, ranking eighth in Ken Pomeroy's national player of the year metric. Michigan center Hunter Dickinson can shoot, screen and rebound. Iowa forward Kris Murray, Michigan guard Jett Howard and IU guard Jalen Hood-Schifino are likely first-round NBA Draft picks.
AND THE WINNER IS: At least half the teams could win this event. Purdue split its last eight games as opponents put more pressure on Matt Painter's freshmen guards. Northwestern and Indiana have never excelled in this event. Frankly, neither has Purdue, which earned its only title in 2009. When in doubt, go with Michigan State and Tom Izzo, especially off a double-bye.
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