IU-Michigan State second-highest rated college basketball game on ESPN this year

Indiana and Michigan State earned a 2.7 overnight rating on Tuesday, making it the second most watched game on ESPN game this year, short only of Indiana’s game against Michigan on Feb. 2.


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  • Ronald Faith says:

    IU Mich-Rematch will top them Both

  • Chet says:

    Don’t be surprised if we become the darlings of the media. It’s about eyeballs looking at the tube and, apparently, that means us.

  • Punjab says:

    Chet, don’t let Doug Gottlieb hear you say anything like that.

    Ronald, hopefully there’ll be nothing more than a share of a B1G title on the line. If not outright, we should at least have a co-championship wrapped up by then. Of course that doesnt mean there still won’t be a lot of intrigue nationwide. Another potential top five matchup to close out the regular season? Doesn’t get much better. And as Chet alluded, despite clowns like Gottlieb giving their best effort to belittle us, the IU brand is skyrocketing. Maybe we can get free publicity like Kentucky’s ESPN all access show. Well, then again… Maybe we better not…

  • Aruss says:

    I’ve been watching IU hoops since 1980 and Victor Oladipo has redefined the often used phrase “Indiana kid”. He is without a doubt no matter how this season ends the greatest Hoosier player in my lifetime.

  • Beard says:

    Aruss I recognize that is your opinion regarding Oladipo and you are certainly entitled to it. However, just to point out here that you are saying that Oladipo is better than any IU player since you started watching IU in 1980. The list of other possible candidates would include, but not be limited to:

    Isiah Thomas (1981 national champion)

    Steve Alford (1987 national champion and runner up to David Robinson for national player of the year, IU’s #2 scorer and #2 in career steals)

    Calbert Cheaney (1993 national player of the year; IU’s all-time leading scorer; Big Ten all-time leading scorer; member of a Final 4 (1992) and Final 8 team (1993)

  • Aruss says:

    From ESPN:

    Pete (Minneapolis)

    Victor Oladipo had another great game last night. Do you think its possible he is a top 5 pick? Not a ton of comps out there with his combination of athleticism and defense.

    Chad Ford (1:48 PM)

    Yes. He’s moved into the Top 5 on our Big Board and for the first time, I’ve had a couple of GMs tell me that they like him more than Ben McLemore. They are in the minority right now … but still. What a rise. In all my years of covering the draft, I’ve never seen a player improve as much as I’ve seen him improve in such a small period of time. He has weaknesses, but major, major upside. If he continues to improve, I don’t think it’s out of the question he could be the No. 1 pick in June. He’s not there yet, but he’s special.

  • Jay says:

    Victor may not be the best player since 1980 but I would argue this is the best team since 1976. 4 1000 point scorers on one team says a ton, not only about the individual skills of those four but also about their character as teammates. not only can they each score, but they can also share. It is a joy to watch them play!

  • kurk81 says:

    I find it ironic that we hear so much this year about college basketball being ‘down.’ I guess that means that Kentucky, North Carolina, and UCLA are bad, because I see a lot of good basketball while watching the Big Ten (with the exception of perennial losers like Penn State, Nebraska, and Purdue). I’m too lazy to actually look it up, but I wonder how that 2.7 rating compares with similar matchups in previous years. Does ‘average fan’ from outside the B10 geographic area really think that this is a bad year, or is that just an easy storyline for national media to glom onto?

  • Chet says:

    Aruss, “best” is so subjective but I’m on board with the estimation that I’ve never seen a Hoosier with his combination of amazing skills.

    He is a wonder and, top 5 pick or not, he is easily the best player I’ve seen this season.

  • J Pat says:

    kurk81, my father and I were just talking about that…all you hear is how down it is this year, almost all national media are speaking like this. Down why?…because some of the past few years heavy hitters like UK and UNC are down, please. It is strange to me…in the past you have one, two…maybe three teams that you know for sure will win it all and everyone else sucks…up until just recently when our Hoosiers came to the top…it was 10-20 teams that could make a run…maybe it still is, I don’t know but isn’t that how you want it (unless you are an IU fan lol), many tough teams?
    I will be curious to see how IU plays the rest of the regular season…I sure hope to see a banner hanging at the end of the big dance…especially this year with UK down!!! They are coming together at the right time it seems to me and defense is the key…well that and Wat decided to play hard for 40 minutes and rebound (why has this not been talked about?, maybe focus too much on Dipo and Zeller)!!! I am too excited…after the OSU and MSU games my expectations are back where they were this past summer and beginning of the season!!! If you know me though, it is hard on me when my expectations have risen.

  • Yesterday's Gone says:

    Sorry for the following comment. Bored while waiting for the next game.

    JPat. I understand. I’m 70. While it is also hard on me when my expectation has risen, it is also, on some level, exciting.

    See first sentence.

  • Toe Jam & Earl says:

    It’s kind funny to me to hear everyone, especially the national media, talk about Dipo as if he’s arisen out of the woodwork just this year. He was really good last year, too; we were having many, many talks at the end of last season along the lines of “If Dipo can just improve his jump shot, he will be scary-good next year.” I’m not sure how much of the Dipo emergence is due to some radical, unprecedented improvement, and how much is simply due to being given a bigger role and gaining more confidence.

  • Podunker says:

    Aruss, I certainly appreciate your regard for VO. I too think he is a wonderful player, and certainly one of the very best that has worn the candy stripes. But the “best” IU player I’ve seen since 1980 was Landon Turner. From a physical standpoint, LT was a total freak (that’s a compliment). Oh, he struggled to find his work ethic and consistency, and was in Bob Knight’s dog house for much of that 80/81 season, but when he began to play to his potential and make use of his enormous talent, IU made a run all the way through the NCAA Championship, and LT, in my opinion was the main reason why. Had he not been injured in that car accident in the summer of 1981, Landon Turner would have had a phenomenal senior season and been the first player picked in the 1982 NBA Draft. And most likely would have gone on to a hall of fame career in the NBA. Landon Turner was that gifted.

    I’m not taking anything away from VO, but LT, when he finally got focused and applied his amazing talent, was the dominant player in college basketball.

  • kurk81 says:

    Podunker, I second your comments and admiration for Landon. Once he got his head straight – about half-way through the ’81 season, he was one of the best I’ve ever seen. However, if we’re talking about one season only (not careers) how could anyone argue against George McGinnis? Averaged 30pts, 15rbs. Not the defensive player that Oladipo is, but he owned the B10 that year – a man among boys. But that’s my top three – Landon, George, and Victor. Different tools, to compare them is ‘apples and oranges.’

  • Hoosier Clarion says:

    VO has improved his game over and over in only a season and a half. As Chet stated his is a focused skill set and in amounts we have not seen before at IU. I still maintain the “81” NC team was the best I’ve ever seen for a whole tournament run. Their score differentials during the dance were obscene. It is still not possible for any IU player to displace Bobby Wilkerson as my favorite IU baller. 6’7″ guard who could handle the ball, rebound extraordinaire(he recorded 19 in the final 4 game against UCLA), could successfully guard man to man positions of each guard, each forward and the center of every team they played. Not to mention he also jumped center. He gave up wanting a larger offensive roll to help the team be more complete and accomplished. It worked.

  • Geoff says:

    Theories for why its considered a “down year” in college basketball:

    – UK & UNC aren’t very good (who really cares about UCLA anymore, they play their games after most of america has gone to bed)

    – no team has threatened to go undefeated… So there is no “great team”. I think it’s now pretty clear IU is the best team, but does even the most ardent IU fan on this board have total confidence that we WILL win it all this year?

    – all the top teams are losing, and a lot of the losses can’t be explained very easily. There may be as many as (3) #1 seeds that have 5 losses this year.

    – the NBA execs do not rate this as a very talented draft, and therefore the “experts” don’t consider it a great college crop.

    – too many underclassmen in BCS schools’ starting line-ups.

    – the Establishment doesn’t like the B1G, so they downplay the quality of college basketball overall

    – too much coaching by entropy…

  • Larry says:

    IU/MI rematch tv ratings? Only if it means something, right now it doesn’t. And hopefully it won’t either, we have a 2 game lead over Michigan right now.

  • Harvard for Hillbillies says:

    In terms of achievement, it’s difficult to argue against Isiah Thomas.

    * 2× NBA champion (1989–1990)
    * NBA Finals MVP (1990)
    * 12× NBA All-Star (1982–1993)
    * 2× NBA All-Star Game MVP (1984, 1986)
    * 3× All-NBA First Team (1984–1986)
    * 2× All-NBA Second Team (1983, 1987)
    * NBA All-Rookie First Team (1982)
    * NCAA champion (1981)
    * NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player (1981)
    * Consensus NCAA All-American First Team (1981)

    * J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award (1987)
    * NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team
    * No. 11 Retired by the Detroit Pistons

    In terms of the Hoosier that epitomize the undaunted spirit, values, and heart of Indiana Basketball..?

    Answer: Steve Downing. Indiana kid. Now an old and grown Indiana man with the innocence and kindness still the kid at heart.

    And it was Steve Downing that put Bobby Knight on the map as the center point a miraculous Cinderella run to face Wooden’s mighty Bruins at a ’73 Final Four. And Downing carried us without McGinnis(had already turned pro). Can one imagine the dominance if McGinnis would have come back for his sophomore season? And did Downing buckle with so much pressure going against what the national media named the premier center of the day on the unprecedented stage and pivotal moment in our university’s b-ball history? Downing merely spanked the hell out of Bill Walton. The only thing the Establishmnet could do was pin him with a bogus foul to ensure UCLA was where the media elite had already penciled them in. The Hoosiers and Downing walked away from that Final Four as the true champions.

  • Harvard for Hillbillies says:

    There might also be an argument for Scott May. Very, very undervalued Hoosier. A healthy Scott May going into the ’75 tournament would have highly increased the probability of another banner hanging in Assembly. I’ve heard many claims that the ’75 Hoosiers were even one rung up the ladder in comparison to the ’76 team(both years were undefeated regular seasons). A foul with intent to injure at a game up in Mackey kept May on the sidelines for the ’75 NCAA tournament.

    And though Damon Bailey didn’t live up to all expectations, it’s hard to put a dollar value and spotlight value he injected into Indiana Hoosiers. I don’t think the national buzz currently surrounding Oladipo can compare to the spectacle surrounding Bailey his every step onto a basketball court leading up to his arrival in Bloomington. And the attention didn’t stop upon his arrival. The kid had so much to live up to. I doubt anyone could measure up to the ‘God of Corncob’ image that young man had to battle everyday. With Damon Bailey came the birth of hype. He should get a lifetime pension from Indiana for the media dollars and journalism careers he helped infuse so much energy. We did Damon wrong. We made him into a god and then we spit him out.

  • Harvard for Hillbillies says:

    Do you want William Jennings Bryan and the ‘Jersey Pipeline’ forever defining Indiana hoops?

    Or, do want the Hollywood backdrop of an innocent fairytale image of basketball nowhere else such purity and devotion to a game be found?

    I wanted the Sampson “thugs” image. The Establishment, Cowbell Cowherdand, and Hollywood Seth hate guys like Harvard. What are they to do now? We have the preacher in “white” that is an expert a real witches brew. D-Wade of Bible meets D-Bailey of Evolution…What’s an Establishment to do?

  • Podunker says:

    Guys, I think the criteria was “since 1980” when Aruss said he first first began watching IU basketball. If we want to go further back, we can include Scott May, George McGinnis, and a lot of other great Indiana players. But since 1980, I still must go with Mr. Turner.

    Does anyone remember the story about Landon Turner having the talent to run track for IU’s great track team? The details are fuzzy after all these years, but I seem to recall a story about IU’s track coach, who was involved in the basketball team’s off-season conditioning, being quoted in an article that if Landon Turner joined IU’s track team, he had the potential to become the Big Ten and maybe even the NCAA Champion in the 400 and/or 800 meter races. Apparently, IU’s track coach at the time challenged Turner to race for time. As it turned out, his first attempt would have qualified him as one of the fastest in country at the time. Landon Turner was a freakishly gifted athlete.

  • Hoosier Lady says:

    Harvard for Hillbillies
    You are right about Steve Downing and the Final Four UCLA game. I remember watching that game. No one expected IU to get that far in the tournament. But we made the media believers when we beat UCLA at the beginning of the 73-74 season and after that there was no stopping the Hoosiers.

  • Harvard for Hillbillies says:

    Oladipo is no Eric Gordon(that is, a healthy Eric Gordon).

  • Geoff says:

    Not offensively… But defensively the gap is just as wide in Dipo’s favor… Plus I have a feeling he’s a much more natural leader, has a couple inches in height and length, and can have a major impact on the game without ever running a play for him, even on offense. I love EJ, but you can’t say that about him.

  • psych says:


    Damon Bailey is still my favorite Hoosier.

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