One of college basketball's premier intrastate events will remain a mid-December staple for many years to come.
Athletic directors from Indiana, Purdue, Notre Dame and Butler jointly announced Thursday that each of their respective schools have agreed to participate in the Crossroads Classic through at least 2019. The previous contract extension was set to run out after the 2015 event.
The Crossroads Classic is an annual doubleheader pitting Indiana's four premier basketball programs against one-another with the matchups rotating year by year. Once known as the "Hoosier Classic" and held at Butler's Hinkle Fieldhouse in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, the event has drawn sellout crowds to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis every year since its revival in 2010.
"We are thrilled to be the home of the Crossroads Classic through 2019," Rick Fuson, chief operating officer of Pacers Sports & Entertainment, said in a statement. "The Classic has become a popular and prestigious annual doubleheader bringing together four great in-state institutions."
The longevity of the Crossroads Classic is terrific news for a sport that has lost rivalries to conference realignment in recent years and suffers from other potential regional rivals not scheduling one-another. Ohio State has refused to face Cincinnati, Xavier or Dayton for decades. Maryland and Georgetown haven't scheduled one-another in the regular season since 1993. And Washington and Gonzaga just agreed to renew their rivalry in 2016 after a decade-long hiatus.
This season's Crossroads Classic will take place Dec. 20 and pit Notre Dame vs. Purdue and Indiana vs. Butler. A look at the future schedule is below:
Dec. 19, 2015: Notre Dame-Indiana; Purdue-Butler
Dec. 17, 2016: Butler-Indiana; Purdue-Notre Dame
Dec. 16, 2017: Purdue-Butler; Notre Dame-Indiana
Dec. 15, 2018: Butler-Indiana; Notre Dame-Purdue
Dec. 21, 2019: Notre Dame-Indiana; Butler-Purdue
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