Is Indiana’s Purdue Basketball Out Shadowing Their Football As The Top Sport?
As you arrive at the campus of Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana, one of the first things to come to mind is their wild mascot. I have no idea what a boilermaker is and I refuse to be stressed over trying to figure it out. Most likely, the football team is the next thing to come to mind as they've had NFL Hall of Famer Drew Brees, current NFL stars Rondale Moore and Raheem Mostert, and many more. For years, the football team has slain the giants of the Big Ten, time and time again in Ross-Ade Stadium.
Now, there's a team, who spends their time right across the street in Mackey Arena, that says they belong on campus too. The Purdue Men's basketball team has their name at the top of the headlines for a few reasons now. As most people know, the state of Indiana is known for its ties to the game of basketball. Those in Indiana love basketball the way those in Texas love football, so it's ironic that football seems to be the top team on campus. As of late, I don't think that will be the case anymore as basketball has returned and plans to stay.
Playing in what many argue to be the most competitive sports conference in college athletics regardless of the sport, their football team has done a great job at keeping the school relevant, managing to squeeze out a win against a top 10 team every year, if not every other year. The football team hasn't been able to land a ranking better than the lower half of the top 10 in recent years and the sport the state truly loves has been making noise, or should I say Boilers, on campus.
Back on Top
As of December 6, 2021 this Purdue Men's basketball team was ranked number one in the country, a feat that has never been accomplished in team history. Purdue has had plenty of talent come through the program with first-round picks Glenn Robinson who went number one overall, Caleb Swanigan, and Jajuan Johnson to name a few. As they continue to add to their legacy, let's look back on what they've already done.
Boilermakers Been Balling
This program is no stranger to success, just never enough to be labeled as the best team in the country. Since their inaugural season in 1896 they have made 32 NCAA tournament appearances, advancing as far as the National championship once where they were runner up, the Final four twice, the Elite Eight five times, and the Sweet Sixteen 12 times. They have been Big Ten champions 24 times but have only won the conference tournament once in 2009.
The Boilermakers have their work cut out for them this year. They will look to keep their early season success rolling through the year as they will compete in a loaded Big Ten. They have already been inserted into Purdue Men's basketball history forever and have a chance to build on that, their first task is to win the Big Ten regular-season title for the 25th time and the first time since 2019 as they look to be the first Boilermakers squad to win the national championship.