Hoosier Hysteria may have its roots in high school football, but the collegiate history adds depth to Indiana's obsession. Indiana's colleges and institutions have a rich history in NCAA Division I basketball. They include: Indiana University, Purdue University, Butler University, Valparaiso University, Anderson University, DePauw University, Ivy Tech State College, Northwood University, and Warsaw Community School.
The first men's basketball game was played on December 6, 1891 between Indiana University and Richmond (now Richmond College). The game was not recorded, but it is believed that the Hoosiers won because they had more players (11 vs. 10).
Indiana's intercollegiate basketball program began in 1898 when William C. Lewis, who had been an assistant under James Naismith at Kansas University, took over as head coach at Indiana University. During his four years at Indiana, he led the team to a 27-4 record. After his departure for the Philadelphia Warriors of the American Professional League, former player John Schlarman became the team's full-time manager and coach. Under Schlarman, the Hoosiers' won 29 games in a row, a national record that still stands today. In 1911, the university hired Henry "Dummy" Taylor as its new basketball coach.
Hoosier Hysteria refers to the fervor that surrounds basketball in Indiana, notably at the Indiana high school basketball tournament. Part of the excitement derived from the one-class competition, in which a small town's David might defeat a major city's Goliath. The other part came from the fact that almost every high school player in the state was eligible to compete.
The term "hoosier hysteria" was first used by sportswriter Leonard Koppett in 1954 when describing the reaction of fans when undefeated and top-ranked North Carolina State University visited Indiana University for an NCAA basketball game. It was widely reported at the time that only a victory by Indiana would keep the NC State Wolfpack from receiving their first national championship. However, the game ended in a loss for Indiana, who fell to NC State by a score of 79-67.
However, even with the loss, Indiana high school basketball continued to be popular throughout the 1950s. This changed when Louisville became a major college basketball program in 1951. Until then, most big games had been between Indiana schools or teams from smaller towns vs. those from larger cities. By defeating Louisville in its home arena, the new University of Indiana Hoosiers football team made Indianapolis' athletes (as well as fans) feel like they were on top of the world. From then on, larger cities such as Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland began to develop a taste for high school basketball.
The intensity of the rivalry is heightened by Indiana's profound love of basketball (see Hoosier Hysteria). The two schools' football programs have also been rivals since they both entered the conference in 1953, although they do not play each other during that season.
The games between Indiana and Indiana State are often referred to as the War on the Arch. The term comes from the fact that both schools' athletic departments are located in the Indiana University Athletic Center, which features an arch at its entrance.
This is a big game for both programs. Indiana State needs this win more than Indiana does, because it isn't quite as good of a basketball team. However, if Indiana loses then its NCAA Tournament hopes will likely be gone too.
The game will be played before a crowd that should be pretty intense considering it's between two Big Ten teams.
Since the 1980s, both schools have held a contest called the Old Oaken Bucket. The winner is determined by who can get their hands on the oldest active basketball trophy in college basketball. The bucket is given to the winning school's coach. It was last renovated in 2003, so it should be in good shape.
The Indiana Hoosiers are Indiana University Bloomington's intercollegiate sports teams and players, named after the state's common word for residents. The team's mascot is called "Hoosier".
The Indiana University Athletic Department officially adopted the nickname "Hoosiers" in 1909. Previously, IU had used various other names as a reference to its location in Indiana (the "Indians" name was originally used by an amateur baseball team based in Indianapolis that later became the Indianapolis Indians) or simply because there were no good nicknames available (the school began playing football in 1891).
The term "hoosier" originated around 1872 when the state legislature authorized the creation of a highway system to help develop Indiana's economy after it was discovered that most interstate travelers at the time were coming from Ohio or Illinois rather than from neighboring Kentucky or Michigan. The term "hoosier" is said to have come from the French habitants de la Louisiane who referred to the indigenous people of the Louisiana Territory as "houssiers", which means "wildcats".