Network Airing 16 New Basketball Classics on ‘Greatest Games’
December 15, 2008
Contact: Elizabeth Conlisk
Series features five Big Ten national championships
CHICAGO – Where can fans watch Big Ten legends such as Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, Glenn Robinson, Deron Williams and Keith Smart square off against basketball greats like Larry Bird, James Worthy, Tayshaun Prince, Jacque Vaughn and Chris Paul? Only on the Big Ten Network this winter on the popular series The Big Ten’s Greatest Games.
In all, 16 new classics will debut during the course of the basketball season.
The Greatest Games schedule features five Big Ten national championships, including Indiana’s title games in 1981 and 1987, Michigan’s championship game in 1989 and Michigan State’s titles in 1979 and 2000. Additional games from the NCAA Elite Eight and Sweet 16 will air throughout the winter, as will memorable regular season classics.
“When fans get together and reminisce about their teams’ great moments, these are the games they talk about,” Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman said.
Many episodes of The Big Ten’s Greatest Games will include insight and memories from legendary players and coaches along with reporters who were on hand to cover the event.
Northwestern’s 2005 overtime victory against Iowa premiered on Dec. 1 and the Illinois’ 2004 ACC-Big Ten Challenge win against Wake Forest debuted on Dec. 8. Both games will re-air several times during the course of the season.
The upcoming schedule includes:
December 16, 8pm ET – 4/3/2000 – NCAA Championship Game – #5 Michigan State 89, #11 Florida 76
Three Michigan State seniors Morris Peterson (21 points), A.J. Granger (19) and Mateen Cleaves (18) led the Spartans to a national championship in Indianapolis. Cleaves overcame a second-half knee injury. Udonis Haslem scored 27 points for Florida in a losing effort.
December 23, 8pm ET – 3/30/1981 – NCAA Championship Game – #14 Indiana 63, #12 North Carolina 50
Philadelphia’s Spectrum was the scene of an Indiana national championship for the second time in five years. The Tar Heels led for nearly the entire first half, but Ray Tolbert and Landon Turner shut down future NBA stars James Worthy and Sam Perkins in the second half. Isiah Thomas, the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, scored a game-high 23 points to go with five assists and four steals.
December 30, 6pm ET – 1/20/2001 – Minnesota 78, Indiana 74 (OT)
Minnesota trailed 68-55 with 3:18 to play in regulation before going on a 14-1 run to tie the game and force overtime. Dusty Rychart scored 21 points, including two free throws with three seconds remaining in the extra period, to lead Minnesota past Indiana, 78-74. Kirk Haston had 17 points and 11 rebounds for Indiana.
January 6, 7pm ET – 3/24/1994 – NCAA Sweet 16 – #6 Purdue 83, #11 Kansas 78
Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson (44 points) and Cuonzo Martin (29) combined to score 73 of Purdue’s 83 points to slip past Jacque Vaughn, Greg Ostertag and Kansas, 83-78. The victory sent head coach Gene Keady and the Boilermakers into the Elite Eight for the first time in 14 years.
January 13, 7pm ET – 3/26/2005 – NCAA Elite Eight – #1 Illinois 90, #8 Arizona 89 (OT)
Top-ranked Illinois engineered one of the most amazing comebacks in NCAA Tournament history, rallying from 15 down with four minutes to go. Deron Williams’ three-pointer tied the game at 80 with 39 seconds left. Then, the Illini made two defensive stops in the closing seconds of regulation and on the final possession of the game to reserve their place in the Final Four.
January 20, 7pm ET – 4/3/1989 – NCAA Championship Game – #8 Michigan 80, #11 Seton Hall 79 (OT)
These two teams produced one of the wildest and most exciting championship games ever, the first national championship game in 26 years to require overtime. Rumeal Robinson made two free throws with three seconds left to cap Michigan’s improbable run to the title under new head coach Steve Fisher. Glen Rice scored 31 points for Michigan and Robinson contributed 21.
January 27, 9pm ET – 2/23/1993 – Ohio State 81, #1 Indiana 77 (OT)
Ohio State rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit to upset top-ranked Indiana, 81-77, in overtime in Columbus. Jamie Skelton’s three-pointer with 40 seconds left in overtime broke a 77-77 tie. The Hoosiers missed an opportunity to win it in regulation at the free throw line. Greg Graham led Indiana with 21 points and Derek Anderson had 20 for the Buckeyes.
February 3, 8pm ET – 2/7/2004 – Iowa 84, Indiana 82 (2 OT)
All five Iowa starters scored in double figures, led by Greg Brunner’s 23, in this double-overtime thriller. Indiana forced the first overtime period by intentionally missing a free throw with one second remaining and getting a tap-in from Patrick Ewing, Jr. However, Jeff Horner’s off-balance lay-up with two seconds left in the second overtime gave the Hawkeyes the win in Bloomington.
February 10, 7pm ET – 3/30/1987 – NCAA Championship Game – #4 Indiana 74, #10 Syracuse 73
Keith Smart’s jumper in the final seconds lifted Indiana to a national championship, 74-73, against a star-studded Syracuse team that featured Derrick Coleman, Rony Seikaly and Sherman Douglas. Steve Alford led Indiana with 23 points, and Smart’s 16-footer became one of the most famous shots in college basketball history.
February 17, 8pm ET – 11/29/2000 – #23 Wisconsin 78, #13 Maryland 75 (OT)
Kirk Penney scored five of his 18 points in overtime to help Wisconsin to a win against Maryland in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Charlie Willis chipped in 15 points in the game, which was played at Milwaukee’s Bradley Center. The Terrapins’ lineup featured the backcourt of Juan Dixon and Steve Blake.
February 24, 8pm ET – 3/20/1987 – NCAA Sweet 16 – #6 Iowa 93, #17 Oklahoma 91 (OT)
In a match-up between two of college basketball’s fastest-paced teams, head coach Dr. Tom Davis, B.J. Armstrong, Roy Marble and the Hawkeyes faced coach Billy Tubbs, Stacey King and the Oklahoma Sooners. Kevin Gamble of Iowa swished a three-pointer with one second remaining in overtime, leaving Oklahoma without a chance to inbound the ball and earning the Hawkeyes a place in the 1987 Elite Eight.
March 3, 7pm ET – 3/27/2005 – NCAA Eight Elite – #5 Michigan State 94, #2 Kentucky 88 (2 OT)
Tom Izzo’s Michigan State team defeated Tubby Smith’s Kentucky Wildcats in double-overtime in one of the most memorable NCAA Tournament games in history. The second-seeded Wildcats rallied from an eight-point deficit in the final 5:25 of regulation, capped by Patrick Sparks’ buzzer-beating three-pointer that bounced on the rim four times before dropping. The teams needed two overtimes to determine a winner. Michigan State’s Alan Anderson made four free throws in the final 15 seconds to send the Spartans to the Final Four.
March 10, 8pm ET – 3/20/1999 – NCAA Elite Eight – #11 Ohio State 77, #10 St. John’s 74
Scoonie Penn scored 22 points to go with eight rebounds and eight assists to help the Buckeyes get past Ron Artest and St. John’s. The victory propelled Ohio State to the Final Four. Michael Redd scored 20 points for OSU.
March 24, 8pm ET – 3/26/1979 – NCAA Championship Game – #4 Michigan State 75, #1 Indiana State 64
Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Larry Bird, two of the greatest players of all-time, squared off for the first time, triggering one of the great individual rivalries in basketball history. In the end, Magic’s Michigan State team was too much for Bird and previously undefeated Indiana State, which lost 75-64. Magic scored 24 points with seven rebounds. Bird tallied 19 points to go with 13 rebounds and five steals. Michigan State’s Greg Kelser added 19 points, eight rebounds and nine assists.
Additional Season Two games include:
1/26/2005 – Northwestern 75, #23 Iowa 74 (OT)
Northwestern trailed by 12 late in the second half, but Vedran Vukusic, who was doubtful to start because of a sore shoulder, scored 13 points in the final two minutes of regulation to force overtime. Michael Jenkins’ three-pointer at the overtime buzzer hit the rim, bounced high and fell through to give Northwestern a stunning 75-74 victory over No. 23 Iowa. Vukusic finished with a career-high 32 points for the Wildcats. Next re-air: Feb. 28, Noon ET.
12/1/2004 – #5 Illinois 91, #1 Wake Forest 73
In a showcase of the nation’s top backcourts, Illinois’ Deron Williams, Dee Brown and Luther Head clearly outdueled Chris Paul, Justin Gray and Taron Downey. The Fighting Illini shot a blistering 60 percent, including 8-of-16 from three-point range on their way to a 21-point halftime lead and a 91-73 victory. Next re-air: Dec. 21, 11 PM ET.
The Big Ten Network is the first national network dedicated to covering one of the premier collegiate conferences in the country. With approximately 400 live events, and nearly all of them in HD, the network is the ultimate destination for Big Ten fans across the country and allows fans to see their favorite team, regardless of where they live. Operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the Big Ten Network showcases a wide array of classic-to-current sports and televises more Olympic sporting events and women’s sports than has ever been aired on any other network. Original programming highlights activities and accomplishments of some of the nation’s finest universities. Each year, the network offers approximately 35 football games, 105 regular season men’s basketball games, 55 women’s basketball games, dozens of Big Ten Championship events, a nightly studio show, coaches’ shows and classic games. Available to all cable and satellite providers nationwide, the network currently has agreements with AT&T U-Verse, Charter, Comcast, Cox, DirecTV, DISH Network, Insight, Mediacom, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS and 250 cable operators. For updated information on the Big Ten Network, go to www.BigTenNetwork.com <http://www.bigtennetwork.com/> .
Network Airing 16 New Basketball Classics on ‘Greatest Games’