The Crossroads Classic will be held for the eighth time Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Notre Dame and Purdue play at 1:30 p.m., followed by Butler and Indiana at 3:45 p.m. Both games will be shown on CBS.
The event’s short history is already filled close games (Butler’s first two wins were each by two points), upsets (six ranked teams have lost, only one to a higher-ranked team) and comebacks.
Here’s each program’s best Crossroads Classic moment.
Alex Barlow’s breakout performance, 2012
Butler had led for the last 5:45 of regulation before Yogi Ferrell’s 3 tied it at 76 with 6 seconds remaining.
Alex Barlow, a rarely-used sophomore walk-on at the time, got 19 minutes that day because three Butler players fouled out. Barlow scored four of his six points in the extra period, including a basket after he backed down Jordan Hulls with 2 seconds left that gave the Bulldogs an 88-86 win over the then-No. 1 Hoosiers. Barlow famously got scooped up by teammate Andrew Smith in the celebration.
“You grow up in the backyard with your hoop, and you dream that you’re playing the No. 1 team, last-second shot, shooting it,” Barlow said. “Not in my wildest dreams did I think that would be a reality.”
Rotnei Clarke scored 19 points for Butler, and Roosevelt Jones had 16 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists before fouling out. Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller scored 18 points each for IU.
Barlow’s presence grew from there, and he started at point guard his final 2 1/2 seasons.
Juwan Morgan wills IU over the Irish in OT, 2017
Notre Dame expanded its lead to 13 points early in the second half, but Juwan Morgan scored IU’s final 12 points in regulation, tying it at 65 with 13 seconds left. Morgan also scored the Hoosiers’ first four points in overtime and four more later, putting IU ahead 78-77 on a dunk with 8 seconds left. The Hoosiers won 80-77.
Morgan finished with 34 points and 11 rebounds, and Robert Johnson added 20. Bonzie Colson had 29 points and 11 rebounds for the Irish.
Morgan didn’t have a lot to say about the performance (other than “I guess being in the right spot at the right time.”), so IU coach Archie Miller filled in the holes: “I think what he’s figuring out is: The more he can get down there and get to the foul line and the more he’s offensive rebounding, the better he plays.”
Second-half onslaught beats Boilers, 2014
In the opening minutes of the second half, Purdue closed within 46-44 of the Fighting Irish. A short while later, Notre Dame got four baskets in a row on dunks. Then the Irish started hitting 3s, 5-of-8 in the second half. It didn’t take long for this to become a rout. Notre Dame won 94-63, its third in a row in the Crossroads Classic at the time.
“The second half, I thought we did it on both ends,” Irish coach Mike Brey said. “We defended well, we did a better job on their bigs, and I think you saw what we can do when we get out, run and share the ball.”
“We got what we deserved,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “I feel Notre Dame simply stole our spirit, and our guys gave in.”
Six Notre Dame players scored in double figures, led by Demetrius Jackson’s 22. Pat Connaughton had 19 points and 14 rebounds. Bryson Scott, Jon Octeus and A.J. Hammons had 11 each for Purdue.
Boilers rally to earn first win in event, 2016
It took six tries for the Boilers to earn their first Crossroads Classic victory.
Notre Dame didn’t trail in the first half and ran its lead to 17 points in the closing minutes.
“I told them in the locker room, ‘There’s no reason we can’t play exactly the way Notre Dame played in the first half,'” Purdue coach Matt Painter said of his halftime instructions. “We can flip this.”
The Boilers started the second half with a flurry, cutting its deficit to two points in the first 5 minutes. Purdue overtook the Irish for good on a Caleb Swanigan basket with 9:41 to go, but Notre Dame remained close. Purdue won 86-81.
“The second half was time to win,” Swanigan said, “and that’s what I did.”
Swanigan had 26 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots. All the blocks, and a steal, came in the second half. Vincent Edwards had 20 points and 10 boards. Bonzie Colson had 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Matt Farrell added 22 points and 10 assists.
Crunching Crossroads numbers
Butler 5-2, IU 4-3, Notre Dame 3-4, Purdue 2-5
Purdue 2 wins, Indiana 1 win, Butler 1 loss, Notre Dame 3 losses
Top single-game scorer
Butler: Kelan Martin, 28 in 2016
IU: Juwan Morgan 34 last season
Notre Dame: Bonzie Colson, 29 last season
Purdue: Caleb Swanigan 26 in 2016
Standout performers over multiple games
Butler: Roosevelt Jones, 13.5 points, 7.8 rebounds in four games
IU: Cody Zeller, 19.5 points, 6.5 rebounds in two games
Notre Dame: Bonzie Colson, 20 points, 7.8 rebounds in four games
Purdue: Caleb Swanigan, 25.5 points, 10.5 rebounds in two games