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    Indiana is a name synonymous with men’s college basketball. The Hoosiers are among the sport’s royalty, with five national crowns, 22 Big Ten regular season titles, some of the most recognizable traditions in college basketball, and one of the most rabid, passionate fan bases. IU has been playing hoops for some time – in its long, illustrious history, who has Indiana men’s basketball played the most?

    Who Has Indiana Men’s Basketball Played the Most?

    Includes all games through Jan. 22, 2023. All records from Indiana’s 2022-23 record book.

    10: Notre Dame – 74 Games (52-22, .703 win percentage)

    Notre Dame is the only non-Big Ten team to make the cut.

    The Hoosiers and Irish began their men’s basketball series on Feb. 19, 1908, with a barnburner of a contest – Notre Dame outlasted Indiana, 21-20, in Bloomington on that memorable day. These two didn’t play much in the years after their initial meeting, only competing against one another for the ninth time by 1947. But that marked the start of a more regular relationship as these programs have played pretty consistently since considering they’ve never shared a conference.

    Indiana has beaten Notre Dame more often than not. It’s been a rarity for the Irish to win more than one game against the Hoosiers in a row – they’ve only managed it four times in the history of this series, with the longest run coming from a four-game win streak that stretched from 1957 into 1958. On the flip side, IU has had a handful of mini-runs over ND, including eight-consecutive victories from 1995 through 2003.

    Currently, the Hoosiers hold the bragging rights in this intrastate series after winning in Indianapolis, 64-56, on Dec. 18, 2021, their fourth-straight W versus the Irish. That game was part of the Crossroads Classic, which was the main impetus for these teams getting together since it began in 2011. However, 2021 was the final iteration of the event, which means it’ll be up to these programs on their own accord to make these matchups happen moving forward. They do not have a game scheduled for this season.

    9: Michigan State – 130 Games (72-58, .554 win percentage)

    On Jan. 16, 1920, Indiana traveled to East Lansing for its first-ever contest against the Spartans. The Hoosiers left as victors, 20-19.

    The two played only once more before 1947, which marked the start of regular competition between them. The Hoosiers dominated the early days, rattling off 10 consecutive Ws between 1948 and 1955, but it evened out more after that point through the late-50s and 60s. Another strong Indiana period came from 1971 into 1978 with IU exerting control in 11 of 14 contests these teams played. The Hoosiers haven’t enjoyed times as good as those over the Spartans since.

    Since 1978, MSU has amassed winning streaks of four or more over Indiana on five separate occasions, and the Spartans have generally defeated the Hoosiers the last couple of decades. Since Michigan State beat Indiana, 63-60, in East Lansing on March 8, 1997, the Spartans are 27-16 against the Hoosiers, including a six-game winning streak from 2008 through 2011. Still, Indiana controls the all-time series, 72-58, though that will change in the coming years if IU continues to falter against the Spartans.

    Indiana recently ended a three-game skid to MSU, upending the Spartans, 82-69, in Bloomington on Jan. 22. Michigan State will have its shot at revenge in East Lansing later this season on Feb. 21.

    8: Michigan – 173 Games (108-65, .624 win percentage)

    These next few series are so close in games played that they swap around on Indiana men’s basketball’s most-played list during most seasons.

    Right now, Michigan is No. 8 on the docket. Indiana and Michigan played their first game on Jan. 18, 1918, in a 21-17 victory for the visiting Hoosiers. They haven’t taken much time off since, meeting in nearly every season dating back to the 1917/18 campaign.

    It’s been mostly Indiana in this one, with some strong periods of dominance mixed in – examples include the Hoosiers winning 13 of the first 17 games between these programs, a 16-1 mark against Michigan from 1951 into 1962, and 11 victories in a row over the Wolverines from 2001 into 2007.

    But lately, it’s been all Michigan. The Wolverines were riding a nine-game positive run over the Hoosiers recently – their longest of the series – that dated back to 2016 until IU finally snapped it in the 2022 Big Ten Tournament, 74-69, in Indianapolis.

    There are still two games between these two scheduled to be played this season, with the first meeting set for Feb. 11 in Ann Arbor and the second on March 5 in Bloomington. We shall soon see if Indiana has turned the tide in this series or if the Michigan momentum is still alive.

    7: Northwestern – 174 Games (120-54, .690 win percentage)

    It was on Jan. 11, 1908, that Indiana and Northwestern launched their series, tipping it off with a 21-18 Northwestern triumph in Evanston that absolutely did not foreshadow what was to come between these two programs.

    The Hoosiers have won almost 70 percent of the contests it has ever played against the Wildcats and put together periods of serious authority over NU. From 1971 to 2003, Northwestern only managed to beat Indiana three times in 59 tries. Yes, you read that right – Indiana was 56-3 against Northwestern over a more than 30-year span. That era of utter dominance included two long unbeaten runs, one from 1971 through 1981 that covered 20 contests, and another from 1988 into 2003 that saw IU go 26-0 between those years.

    Hey, at least Northwestern won five straight between 1913 and 1915, right? And who could forget its 7-3 record across 10 contests against Indiana from 1929 through 1935?

    But seriously, the Wildcats have done much better against Indiana since ending that 26-game run in 2003. Including the 74-61 victory in Evanston that killed that streak, the Hoosiers hold a narrow margin over the Northwestern in the last 20 years, barely holding the advantage, 17-16. The Wildcats already beat IU once this season – an 84-83 victory in Bloomington on Jan. 8 – and will have another shot at the Hoosiers on Feb. 15 in Evanston to achieve perfect parity for the last two decades.

    6: Minnesota – 176 Games (107-69, .608 win percentage)

    Indiana took eight Ls in a row to Minnesota to start this series, initially with a 34-7 (yes, that’s right, Indiana scored 7 points), defeat in Minneapolis on Feb. 17, 1912. IU’s first victory over the Gophers came in 1921, and the Hoosiers haven’t let Minnesota have as good of a run against them since. In fact, Indiana soon put together a nine-game winning streak of its own from 1924 into 1930, the first of many runs the Hoosiers have enjoyed at the Gophers’ expense.

    IU’s other best times in this series came in the 1930s, mid-1970s, and 1980s. None were as thorough as the 80s, though – Indiana went 18-2 against the Gophers during the entirety of the decade, including 15 games undefeated from 1982 through 1989. If you stretch back to 1971, Indiana put together a 30-6 record versus Minnesota during those 18 years.

    The Gophers have not been pushovers forever, though. For example, Minnesota went 11-5 against Indiana from 1961 through 1970, and this series was very even from the start of the 1990s into the mid-2010s. Between 1990 and 2014, the Gophers actually outdid the Hoosiers, 22-21. That period of the series included one of its most-famous fixtures, a 59-58 thriller in the 2008 Big Ten Tournament that concluded with a circus shot for the ages (Indiana fans, avert your eyes).

    Since 2015, Indiana has regained its foothold in the series – IU has won 11 of 13 games against Minnesota dating back to that year. The Hoosiers defeated the Gophers in their sole scheduled meeting with them this season, 61-57, in the Twin Cities on Jan. 25.

    5: Wisconsin – 177 Games (97-80, .548 win percentage)

    Indiana and Wisconsin tipped things off on Jan. 29, 1910, with a 13-11 contest in Madison, because it was 1910 and games used to have fewer than 30 points back then. This series, which has been a regular thing ever since it began, has largely been greatly dominated by one side or the other for long periods and has seen three distinct eras.

    Between 1910 and 1949, the Badgers went 35-15 against the Hoosiers, amassing an undefeated streak of 11 during that span and otherwise putting together several perfect mini-runs. But in 1950, the script immediately flipped – it was now Indiana’s turn to rule Wisconsin. For the next 50 years, the Hoosiers only lost to Wisconsin just 12 times, spending years in a row without a blemish from the Badgers. No period of that half-century was more concretely Indiana’s than from 1980 through 1996 when the Hoosiers put together 16 years of perfection that added up to 31 consecutive triumphs against UW.

    And then it all changed again. Wisconsin’s 56-53 outlasting of Indiana in Madison on March 5, 2000, marked the end of an era and the start of a new one. Since that game, the Badgers are 32-9 versus the Hoosiers, including a period of 12 wins in a row from 2008 through 2013.

    Wisconsin was riding a five-game unbeaten streak against Indiana until recently; the Hoosiers won the only scheduled contest between these programs already this season, 63-45, on Jan. 14 in Bloomington, snapping their most-recent skid to the Badgers.

    4: Illinois – 186 Games (95-91, .511 win percentage)

    The longevity of this series only adds to its remarkable evenness.

    These border rivals met for the first time on Jan. 20, 1906, with Illinois taking it at home, 27-24. Indiana won the return game three weeks later in Bloomington, and the back-and-forth nature of the IU-UI relationship was established.

    Though the all-time record is barely in Indiana’s favor, there have been times when one program generally had the better of the other. To start off, Illinois was on top, putting together eight-straight victories from 1912 through 1922. Then came the 30s, which belongs to the Hoosiers. But for the next 30 years, it was mostly the two teams trading Ws and Ls – from 1940 through 1970, the series was nearly exactly even, with Illinois narrowly having the edge, 23-22.

    The tide turned in the 70s with IU winning nine in a row from 1972 into 1977, and the Hoosiers built a similar streak of seven-straight triumphs from 1981 into 1984, too. The teams have proceeded to trade mini-runs against one another since then, and the series record is 38-36, again just barely in the Illini’s favor. Perhaps now the slim four-result departure in the overall tally makes more sense.

    Indiana is the owner of the latest renewal of this rivalry, controlling Illinois, 80-65, on Jan. 19 in Champaign, the team’s second win in a row versus the Illini. These proud programs are set to meet at least once more this campaign: a date in Bloomington set for Feb. 18.

    3: Iowa – 187 Games (106-81, .567 win percentage)

    Iowa is the third-most played opponent in Indiana men’s basketball history as of the moment I’m writing this, but given the margin between this series in the Indiana-Illinois one and how the Big Ten does its scheduling now, the Hawkeyes and Illini could swap spots several times over the next few years, let alone decades.

    The Hawkeyes and Hoosiers first met on Feb. 6, 1909, with Indiana winning in Bloomington to the tune of 18-12. It took them six more years to come together again, but it’s been a reoccurring contest ever since.

    Indiana started this series strong – by 1943, the Hoosiers lead the Hawkeyes, 30-14. Iowa found some footing in the 40s and continued to keep a relative balance between itself and Indiana. Then in the mid-60s, the Hawkeyes began one of their best times ever in this series, going 10-2 versus the Hoosiers from 1964 through 1970.

    But Indiana got really good in the 70s, as a lot of the rest of the Big Ten found out, and Iowa became one of a long list of victims during that decade. From 1971 into 1977, IU collected 11 consecutive victories against Iowa, the longest unblemished run for either team in the series.

    Since 1981, the series has been almost perfectly even. Over the last 42 years, the Hoosiers have a tiny step on the Hawkeyes, 40-39, which could evaporate when the teams play again this season on Feb. 28 in Bloomington. In the first contest of the campaign, Iowa picked up the win, 91-89, in Iowa City on Jan. 5.

    2: Ohio State – 198 Games (110-88, .556 win percentage)

    The inaugural date between these border foes came on March 4, 1905, with Ohio State routing the Hoosiers in Bloomington, 66-12. OSU won five of the first six contests in this series and amassed a 15-10 series lead in 1927.

    Since then, Indiana has had the better of the Buckeyes in the grand scheme. The Hoosiers have put together a handful of notable unbeaten runs against Ohio State: they won seven straight from 1940 through 1943, another nine consecutive between 1974 and 1978, and rattled off eight in a row in the late-1980s.

    Naturally, the Buckeyes have had their turns, too. Ohio State took nine of 14 games against Indiana from 1944 through 1950, another nine of 12 contests from 1968 into 1974, and strung together six Ws unabated from 2009 into 2011. Modernity has been kinder to OSU. Dating back to 2009, the Buckeyes are 16-8 against the Hoosiers, sparked by the undefeated run mentioned prior.

    There will always be an undeniable link between two programs that have played as often and for as long as these two have, but there’s something else connecting Indiana and Ohio State – Bobby Knight. The illustrious coach oversaw IU for nearly 30 years, winning three NCAA Tournaments and reaching five Final Fours in that time. But before he was head coach in Bloomington, he was a player at Ohio State and a member of the 1960 national championship squad.

    The Hoosiers hold bragging rights at the moment, outdoing Ohio State, 86-70, in Bloomington on Jan. 28. Unless these teams happen to pair in both the Big Ten Tournament and NCAA Tournament this March, the 200th all-time meeting will come sometime next season.

    1: Purdue – 215 Games (90-125, .419 win percentage)

    This is the only series among Indiana men’s basketball’s top-10 most-played opponents that the Hoosiers do not lead. It’s also the one Indiana fans care the most about leading. Awkward.

    What Indiana does have over Purdue, and what Indiana fans are not shy about sharing with Purdue fans, is banners. But this article isn’t about banners, it’s about series with the most longevity. Sorry, IU fans.

    The main reason for Purdue’s lead in this series is the early days. The Boilermakers defeated the Hoosiers, 23-19, in Bloomington in the first-ever meeting between these intrastate rivals on March 1, 1901. It wasn’t until the 10 contest that Indiana finally got over the hump, but that didn’t do much for the cause for a long while. By the end of the 1938-39 season, Purdue was firmly in control of this series, 51-11, and had compiled undefeated runs of nine twice, eight, and 11.

    The series grew balanced in the following years before Indiana enjoyed its first good time in the rivalry, amassing 13 straight victories from 1949 into 1955. That still remains the greatest run for the Hoosiers against Purdue, which the Boilermakers promptly responded to with eight wins over the next 10 contests. Purdue struck with seven-straight Ws from 1968 into 1972, then the Hoosiers answered back with eight triumphs in nine games from 1972 through 1976. The rest of the 1970s, the 1980s, and the first half of the 1990s spelled lots of parity for these long-time rivals.

    The late-90s were better for Purdue, but the 2000s favored Indiana. But since 2009, the Boilermakers have mostly beaten the Hoosiers, holding an 18-6 record and flaunting a nine-game conquering from 2017 through 2021 against their bitter adversaries. Purdue won the last matchup, 69-67, in West Lafayette on March 5, 2022.

    This Indiana-Purdue rivalry is one of the biggest and most important in all of college basketball. The state of Indiana lives and breathes basketball, particularly college basketball, and these Big Ten titans have produced countless legendary games, moments, players, coaches, and stories that will live on forever in the sport’s lore. The rivalry will renew on Feb. 4 in Bloomington, then again on Feb. 25 in West Lafayette.


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