There are talks floating around that the state of Indiana is trying to put on a true Indiana Classic in Lucas Oil Stadium over Thanksgiving weekend in 2010. Whether the rumor is true or not does not matter, the fact is that this tournament needs to be established for multiple reasons.
The number one reason is that it would be a money maker for all of the schools and the city of Indianapolis. Yes, I know that Purdue may not be able to make the $500,000 to $750,000 that it plans on making off of Coppin State coming to Mackey Arena, but what would they make off a true classic like the one listed below?
The second reason why this event should take place is that a number of the best high school recruits are only considering the Indiana schools as an alternative option. The schools in Indiana are some of the elite level programs in the country and need to re-establish themselves as such. It is time to restore the heritage of the best basketball schools in the country.
This event would be picked up by the Big 10 Network or ESPN in a nanosecond, which would result in an even bigger payday than any Purdue vs Coppin State game. What would you rather watch? The Alaska Shootout? Maui Invitational? or the Indiana Classic with the lineup listed below:
Purdue vs Indiana State in Game 1, Notre Dame vs IUPUI in Game 2, Indiana vs Evansville in Game 3, and Butler vs IPFW or Valpo in Game 4.
On Saturday afternoon, the consolation games would be held. The evening contests would result in potential matchups of ND vs Purdue and IU vs Butler.
Finally, Sunday afternoon would be the finals of the Indiana Classic.
The impact that this tournament would have on Indianapolis and the entire state of Indiana would be nearly as big as hosting the first round of the NCAA tournament. Not to mention, we could have it here annually. Our schools are always looking for ways to effectively market and differentiate themselves from other programs across the country. The Indiana Classic definitely would not hurt any of them.