The best costume at one of Bloomington's most popular sports bars Wednesday night had a college hoops theme to it.
Indiana senior Ben Kessler and friends Andrew Josephs, Michael Friedman, Jedd Horn, Mitch Glazer and Vad Slezberg purchased red felt, white fabric paint and stencils on Wednesday so they could dress as the championship banners hanging at Assembly Hall. Five of them represented Indiana's past national titles. The sixth dressed as the one the preseason No. 1 Hoosiers hope to capture in 2013.
When Kessler and his friends walked to Kilroy's Sports Bar in Bloomington, drivers who passed them honked their horns in support. They received the loudest ovation of any of the contestants in the the costume contest at Kilroy's, earning them first prize — $500 and free cover for life.
"It was an amazing night for us," Kessler said. "We didn't want to spend that much money. We spent like $12 each and we won $500. I think that's a good investment."
Kessler and his friends are longtime Indiana basketball fans, so they're very much looking forward to a season that should be the culmination of the Hoosiers' return to national relevance. Even though Halloween is over, Kessler thinks he and his friends may be able to get some more value out of their memorable costumes.
"We're definitely going to wear it to one of the games this season," he said. "Maybe we'll save it for the North Carolina game or something."
If not then, maybe in Atlanta the first week of April. That's when the Hoosiers could make that optimistic sixth banner a reality.