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March 30, 2009 AT 10:00 AM
Greatest NCAA College Basketball Programs of All Time: Indiana University Hoosiers Since Assembly Hall opened in 1971, the Indiana Hoosiers has ranked near the top for college basketball attendance. Much of the popularity surrounding the Hoosier squad began in that same year when Bobby Knight began his tenure as head coach. Playing in the Big Ten Conference, where it has intense rivalries dating way back with both Purdue and Kentucky, Indiana as of 2007 had won their Conference Regular Season Championship 20 times, and made 32 NCAA tournament appearances â€“ the fourth most of any team. In those 32 appearances, the Hoosiers have made it to the Final Four eight times and won the NCAA title five times. Branch McCracken would coach the IU squad to their first two titles â€“ in 1940 and 1953 respectively winning National Coach of the Year in both years as well. It would take over 20 years before Indiana saw another championship. The successful, yet controversial Knight would lead the Hoosier squad to three titles during his tenure. Just like McCracken, Knight would receive National Coach of the Year honors for each year his team won â€“ 1976, 1981, and 1987. After Knightâ€™s extreme temper lead to his firing in 2000 after nearly 30 years as head coach, players protested to transfer unless Mike Davis, Knightâ€™s former assistant, was named head coach. The players got what they wanted and Davis would coach the team to their 6th championship game in 2002, however it would be the first final the Hoosiers would make it to and lose. One interesting note is that despite the success of the Indiana Hoosiers squad over the years, they managed to achieve most of it without future NBA stars â€“ with Isiah Thomas being the major exception.