Indiana's basketball program is steeped in tradition. IU has had plenty of great players in its illustrious history.
Calbert Cheaney, Damon Bailey, Steve Alford and Isiah Thomas are some of the best to ever don the famous candy striped pants. The Hoosiers have certainly had many talented players, but who is the most clutch?
This slideshow will discuss the five most clutch players in IU's history. The players weren't ranked simply on how good they were overall, as sometimes the best players aren't the most clutch. They were ranked based on the clutch plays they made and in what games and situations the plays occurred.
A.J. Moye always seemed to come up big when the Hoosiers needed him to. He was a spark off the bench and always brought energy when he was in the game.
Moye makes the list because of his performance in the NCAA tournament, specifically when Indiana faced No. 1 seeded Duke in the 2002 NCAA tournament Sweet 16. The Hoosiers were in the midst of an epic 17-point comeback. Down by one, Moye blocked Carlos Boozer (start at 7:25) to keep momentum in Indiana's favor.
In the closing seconds with his team up two, Moye hit two free throws to give the underdogs a four-point lead. When Dane Fife fouled Jay Williams and gave Duke a chance at a four-point play to tie the game, Williams missed the free throw and the rebound fell to Boozer. Moye helped pressure Boozer into missing the shot and Indiana won the game.
Moye made the right plays at the right times, earning him a spot on this list.
The recently graduated Christian Watford makes the list because of two individual plays that will go down in Indiana basketball lore.
The first is arguably the most important shot in the history of the program. Prior to Watford's junior year, the team was terrible, but an 8-0 start had people thinking IU was finally rebounding from the damage caused by the Kelvin Sampson era. No. 1 ranked and undefeated Kentucky came to Assembly Hall on December 10, 2011, and it was Indiana's chance to show it was back.
Watford drained a program-defining game-winner to knock off the Wildcats, and the Hoosiers haven't been the same since.
The second play occurred in last year's NCAA tournament. The No. 1 seed Hoosiers were in a dogfight with No. 9 seed Temple. With a little more than two minutes left in the the game, Indiana was down by two. Watford made an outstanding block that shifted the momentum in IU's direction. The Hoosiers ended up winning the game and advanced to their second Sweet 16 in a row.
Watford's late-game heroics helped turn around a struggling program, earning him recognition as one of the most clutch Hoosiers of all time.
To put it simply, Scott May was a beast. He was the best player on the Hoosiers undefeated (32-0) 1976 national championship team.
For his career, he averaged 17.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. May was a two-time All-American and the 1976 National Player of the Year. He is easily one of the greatest players in the history of the program.
He was the go-to guy on the 1976 team. The offense ran through him, and if a key shot had to be made, everyone knew where the ball was going.
May's performance against Alabama in the NCAA tournament is just one example of his abilities in the clutch. He made a crucial shot to give Indiana the lead with two minutes left in the game. Once Indiana had the lead, it never looked back and advanced to the Elite Eight.
Keith Smart may not be recognized as one of the best players in IU history, but he's definitely one of the most clutch. He made what is arguably the shot that is most associated with Hoosier basketball.
Indiana faced Syracuse in the 1987 NCAA tournament championship game. The Hoosiers were down by one with only seconds remaining. Smart sank the game-winning jump shot and gave IU its fifth national championship.
Because of his clutch shot, a banner hangs in Assembly Hall. For that reason alone, Smart deserves to be on this list.
Steve Alford is arguably the greatest shooter to ever suit up for the Hoosiers. He was a scoring machine. Alford's 2,438 career points are the second most in school history.
One way to measure clutch is to examine how a player did in the most important games. When Alford was on the biggest stage of his collegiate career, he didn't disappoint.
While Keith Smart made the shot that won the 1987 national championship, Alford got the Hoosiers in position to win. He made seven three-pointers and finished with 23 points. Alford played his best when his team needed him most and is a huge reason why Indiana won the title in 1987.