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No. 1 Purdue brings class to first Indy Classic men’s college basketball event

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indy Classic on Saturday at Gainbridge Fieldhouse will feature two men’s college basketball games: Purdue vs. Davidson, and Illinois State vs. Ball State.

Indiana Sports Corp told I-Team 8 that one thing that makes this inaugural event special is having the No. 1 team in the country, Purdue, playing.

The event is happening about a year after the Crossroads Classic, another four-team men’s basketball event that ran from 2011-2021.

Patrick Talty, president of the nonprofit Indiana Sports Corp, said, “We saw the void when the Crossroads (Classic) went away and we said, ‘hey, why not create a basketball event? Because Indy needs one. Indy should a college basketball, premier teams playing each December.”

The long-term vision for the the Indy Classic goes beyond a day of basketball.

“We really thought, like, ‘OK, what can we do other than just that basketball game?’ Whether it’s youth clinics, or a sponsor functions and other activities, to enjoy to really make a weekend of it,” Talty said.

Events surrounding the Indy Classic will likely start at next year’s event.

To achieve that goal, they’re working hard to entice the top-tier teams to play in the Indy Classic. “It’ll be really important that we have those teams that come each year that are from regionally, and it’d be great to have a state team if we can get one, but we know we won’t always be able to,” Talty said.

Marquee matchups in college basketball between big-name schools at big-name events are often created years in advance. That means Indiana Sports Corp is planning both short-term and long-term events.

“When we go out and talk to teams we’re talking about ’23 through ’27 with them, and seeing what fits in their schedule and who they can play and want to play,” Talty said.

The Indy Classic may not have the same four teams play in it every year, but they will try to bring in the biggest names in college basketball right here to downtown Indianapolis.

Catch News 8’s one-on-one interview with Purdue’s new head football coach on “SportsLocker Sunday” at 10:15 p.m.