Indiana Basketball: Top 5 Strangest Moments in Program History

Sam SternbergContributor IOctober 11, 2011

Indiana Basketball: Top 5 Strangest Moments in Program History

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    Indiana Basketball is one of the most successful college basketball programs of all time:

    Five National Championships, eight Final Four appearances, 35 NCAA tournament appearances, 20 Big Ten Conference championships, 30 twenty-win seasons, two national players of the year, 18 Big Ten players of the year, and 42 All-Americans.

    Their program has seen some of the strangest moments in college basketball history.

    Indiana has had its cast of characters. Bob Knight, Kelvin Sampson, and Isiah Thomas are just to name a few. We count down Indiana Basketball's strangest moments.

5. 2002 Regional Semifinals (Sweet Sixteen)

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    (Start Video at 11:00)

    Up 4 vs. No. 1 Duke with a place in the Elite Eight on the line, 11 seconds to go, all you have to do is don't foul.

    Daniel Ewing dribbles down, pulls up for three, and misses. Jay Williams gets the rebound, steps back to the three-point-line, shoots... makes it and the foul!!!!  

    What was Tom Coverdale Thinking? Why would you even get near one of the best players in the country while he was shooting a three, when you are up four?

    The free throws go up, misses, rebound to boozer, 3,2, shots up, misses, Indiana wins!!!!!!!!!!!

    What was Jared Jeffries thinking? Why would you not block out one of the best big men in the country?

    Indiana makes two giant mistakes at the end of the game vs. the No. 1 team in the country.

    Luckily, they get away with the victory on their way to the 2002 National Championship.

4. Eric Gordon. Going....Coming?

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    Eric Gordon, make up you mind?

    In November 2005, then North Central Junior Guard, Eric Gordon committed to Bruce Weber and the University of Illinois.

    After Mike Davis resigned from Indiana after the 2005-2006 season and the school hired Kelvin Sampson, who then hired Jeff Meyer, Gordon was rumored to be switching sides.

    Meyer was Eric Gordon Sr's college coach and was a long time friend of the Gordon family.

    In October, after the summer of 2006, Gordon played all across the country seeing his stock rise nationally day-by-day. Gordon decided to switch his commitment from the Illini to the Hoosiers.

    In November 2006, Gordon signed a national letter of intent to play for Coach Samspon and Indiana in the 2007-2008 season.

    The aftermath of the decision included outrage by Illini Fans and according to Eric Sr, death threats to his son.

    In Early 2008, at the IU/Illinois basketball game in Champaign, the Gordon family was hit with Ice and Orange and Blue beeds for wearing "Got Gordon?" t-shirts.

    Gordon averaged 20.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.4 apg, shot 37 percent from 3-point rage, leading the Big Ten in scoring.

    He was named to the All-Big-Ten first team and was name Big Ten Freshman of the year.

    He was drafted seventh in 2008 by the Los Angeles Clippers. 

3. Kelvin Sampson

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    After just one and one half seasons at IU, Sampson was forced to resign because of major violations he committed while at Indiana.

    He made impermissible phone calls to recruits then lied to IU about them.

    Sampson resigned on February 22, 2008, after just one and a half seasons as the head coach at Indiana.

    When the allegations came out, school president Michael McRobbie said they would launch an investigation lasting seven days.

    This was highly criticized because a seven day investigation seemed like it already had a likely outcome, that outcome being the firing of Sampson.

    McRobbie took heat and later apologized to Sampson.

    IU was hit with three years probation.

2. Bobby Knight's Firing

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    In September 2000, Freshman Kent Harvey reportedly said, "Hey, Knight, whatsup?" angering Knight even going to such extremes as grabbing Harvey's arm and lecturing him about not showing proper respect. 

    Myles Brand, IU's president at the time had no choice but to ask Knight to resign. This was one of many incidents that occurred after the zero-tolerance policy was put in place.

    That evening, thousands of protesters gathered in support of Knight.

    It is thought to believe that Knight was set up. Harvey's father was a radio broadcaster and a harsh critic of Knight. Knight though has said he does not believe he was set up.

    On September 11, Knight said goodbye to a group of 6,000 supporters.

    His 29-year-old tenure at Indiana was now over. 

1. Bobby Knight's Chair Throw

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    Has college basketball ever seen anything like this. The day was February 23, 1985. IU was playing Purdue looking for a late season victory against its rival.

    Just five minutes into the first half, IU had picked up its sixth team foul. It was clear that the refs weren't letting anything fly. This angered Knight.

    After arguing Knight retreats to the bench still barking at the refs.

    The barking finally hit its toll and the referee T'd up Knight. Knight continued to get in the referee's face and continued to argue about the six team fouls.

    While Purdue's Steve Green steps to the line, Knight grabs a chair from behind the bench, picks it up, and throws it across the lane reaching the cheerleaders on the other side.

    Knight was immediately ejected, took about five minutes to get out of Assembly Hall because he was still arguing, and had to watch his Hoosiers play the rest of the 35 minutes from the locker room.