IHSAA Boys Basketball

State Tournament Historical Timeline


1911       The first state tournament is conducted at Assembly Hall on the Indiana University campus in Bloomington. The tournament, which features the best team from each of Indiana’s 13 congressional districts, is held March 10-11, 1911 by the IU Boosters Club, despite neither an endorsement nor opposition from the IHSAA’s Board of Control. Only 12 teams compete, however, as the Indianapolis School Board would not permit Manual or Shortridge to represent that district. Crawfordsville defeats Lebanon, 24-17, in the championship game. The 1911 tournament wouldn’t be acknowledged by the IHSAA’s Board of Control as the state’s first official tournament until 1957.


1912       The state basketball tournament, officially sponsored by the IHSAA for the first time and assisted by the IU Boosters Club, features 13 teams. The state is divided into four large sections based on the congressional districts of the day and the winning team from each of the four sectional sites advances to play for the state championship one week later in Bloomington.


1913       The district plan is abandoned and a total of 38 teams enter the state tournament with all games being played in Bloomington over two days (Friday and Saturday) to determine the state’s best team. Wingate, a school of 25 students located in Montgomery County, defeats South Bend, 15-14, in five overtimes to win the state championship. With the score tied at 13-13 at the end of regulation, the referee declares that two-minute periods will be played and the first team to score two points would be the winner.


1914       Seventy-seven teams enter the state tournament in Bloomington and the unexpected number of entries forces tournament officials to use four different playing floors in Bloomington and to schedule 76 games in two days. The Indiana University Men’s Gymnasium, Indiana University Women’s Gymnasium, Indiana University Auditorium and Bloomington Armory are all used to host contests. The eventual champion, Wingate, plays two games on Friday and a grueling four games on Saturday, defeats Anderson, 36-8, to win the championship to become the first team to repeat as state champion.


1915       First Year for Sectionals – With 155 teams entered, more than double the year before, 14 sectional elimination tournaments are set up throughout the state. The 14 winners move on to the state finals in Bloomington the following week. The games were played at the IU Men’s Gymnasium where they would reside through 1918.


1916       As the total number of teams entering (204) continues to climb annually, 16 sectional tourneys were held with the survivors advancing to Bloomington for the state finals.


1917       Twenty sectional tourneys were held this year with 255 teams entered.


1917       In what would become an annual tradition of the boys basketball tournament and, later, in every IHSAA sport, a mental attitude award is presented for the first time. The Gimbel Prize for Mental Attitude, as it was known, is awarded to Claude Curtis of Martinsville, which had lost to eventual champion Lebanon in the semifinals. The award is named for Mr. Jake Gimbel of Vincennes, who had proposed to the IHSAA Board of Control in 1916 that a cash prize and medal be awarded to a member of one of the teams who showed the best mental attitude during the state finals tournament. Mr. Gimbel recognized the mental and moral strain under which the participants play during the tournament and he also recognized the numerous opportunities for the players to lose control of themselves and to do something not conducive to true sportsmanship and felt an award was appropriate.


1918       With 301 teams participating, a total of 20 sectional elimination tournaments are played to determine the state finalists.


1919       Twenty-two sectionals were used to determine the teams that would advance to the state finals. This year, the state finals tournament was played at Purdue University’s Memorial Gymnasium.


1920       Twenty-six sectionals are scheduled to accommodate the 372 teams that indicate they would enter the state tournament. The state finals return to the Indiana University Men’s Gymnasium.


1921       First Year for Regionals – Another record turnout of 394 teams enter forcing the IHSAA Board of Control to make adjustments in the tournament format. Thirty-two sectionals are played followed one week later by 16 one-game regionals which would determine the state finalist teams. From 1921 through 1935, 16 teams would advance to the state finals tournament. This also was the first year the state finals are played at the Indianapolis Coliseum, where the finals would reside through 1924.


1922       Franklin, led by player Robert “Fuzzy” Vandivier, becomes the first school to win three consecutive state championships. Coach Ernest “Griz” Wagner becomes the first to direct three championship teams.


1925       State Finals are played for the first time at the Exposition Building or the “Cow Barn”, as it was referred to, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. The tournament would be staged at the venue in 1926 and 1927 as well.


1927       First year for 64 sectionals and 16 regionals.


1928       After signing a lease agreement with Butler University which guaranteed completion of its facility, the IHSAA stages the state finals for the first time in the new Butler Fieldhouse.


1930       Burl Friddle of Washington, becomes the first person to play on a state championship team and then coach a team to the state title. Friddle played center on the 1920 Franklin champions, then came back to win honors as a coach 10 years later with the Hatchets.


1933       Glenn Curtis becomes the first person to coach four teams to the state championship (Lebanon 1918; Martinsville 1924, 1927, 1933).


1936       First year that only four teams advance to state finals. Following 64 sectionals and 16 regionals, four “Semi-final” tournaments are played the weekend before state, featuring four teams at each site, with the lone winner at each advancing to the state finals. This also is the last season in which a center jump takes place after each score.


1938       A total of 787 schools enter the state tournament series to comprise the largest field in history. Burl Friddle, the winning coach of state champion Fort Wayne South Side, becomes the first person to play for a state champion (Franklin 1920) and coach two different schools to the title as well (Washington 1930).


1939       Everett Case joins Glenn Curtis as a four-time state championship coach but distinguishes himself by doing so at the same school each time. He guided Frankfort to titles in 1925, 1929, 1936 and 1939, the first school to win four state crowns.


1941       At its December 20, 1941 meeting, the IHSAA Athletic Council does its part to eliminate prejudice in the state by passing a resolution allowing all public, private, parochial, African-American or institutional high schools to become full members of the Association provided they offer and maintain three or four years of high school work and that they meet the requirements of the Association and subscribe to its rules and regulations. The rule would go into effect beginning August 15, 1942 and open the doors to the 1943 state tournament later that winter.


1943       For the first time, the state finals are played at the new Indianapolis Coliseum (not the same building that hosted 1921-1924) at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. The tournament would be staged there through 1945 while Butler Fieldhouse served as a barracks for the United States Air Force and Navy during World War II.


1945       After awarding the “Gimbel Prize for Mental Attitude” from 1917 to 1943 and the “IHSAA Medal for Mental Attitude” in 1944, the IHSAA Board renames the award “The Arthur L. Trester Medal for Mental Attitude” in honor of the man who served as first commissioner of the Association from 1929 to 1944. Recipients were given a medal each year from 1945 through 1964, hence “The Arthur L. Trester Medal for Mental Attitude.” Beginning in 1965, the award is made in the form of a plaque with a copy of the original medal incorporated on the face of the plaque, hence “The Arthur L. Trester Award for Mental Attitude.”


1946       The state finals tournament returns to Butler Fieldhouse and continues each year through 1971. The facility would be renamed Hinkle Fieldhouse in 1966 in honor of Butler's legendary coach and athletic director, Paul D. "Tony" Hinkle.


1954       The Milan Indians return to Butler Fieldhouse one year after a state finals appearance in 1953 and capture the state championship with a 32-30 victory over perennial power Muncie Central. Bobby Plump swishes the game-winning shot in the final seconds to give the Ripley County school of 161 students a thrilling victory over their big-school opponent. This game would be the inspiration for the movie, Hoosiers, more than 30 years later.


1955       Indianapolis Crispus Attucks, coached by Ray Crowe and led on the floor by Oscar Robertson, becomes the first African-American school to win the state tournament with a 97-74 victory over Gary Roosevelt.


1956       The Tigers of Indianapolis Crispus Attucks repeat and become the first unbeaten state champion (31-0) by defeating Lafayette Jefferson, 79-57.


1956       At its December 15 meeting, the IHSAA Board of Control votes to change the name of the level of the tournament that preceeds the state finals from “semi-finals” to “semi-states” effective with the 1957 state tournament. The name “semi-final” had been used since 1936.


1957       South Bend Central ends Indianapolis Crispus Attucks’ bid to win its third straight title with a 67-55 triumph to become the second ever undefeated champions at 30-0.


1957       Forty-six years later, the IHSAA, led by commissioner L.V. Phillips, officially recognizes Crawfordsville as the first state champion in 1911. The formal recognition comes during the 1957 state finals and changes the numbering of the annual tournaments making the 1957 tournament, the 47th instead of the 46th.


1962       The first state finals with four former state champions competing – East Chicago Washington, Evansville Bosse, Kokomo, Madison.


1963       Muncie Central, coached by first-year leader Dwight Tallman, captures its record fifth state title with a 65-61 victory over South Bend Central.


1964       Lafayette Jefferson coach Marion Crawley wins his fourth state championship joining Glenn Curtis and Everett Case after his Bronchos defeat Huntington, 58-55.


1969       Indianapolis Washington takes a 79-76 decision from Gary Tolleston in the final game to become the third unbeaten state champion at 31-0. The four state finalist teams enter the final tournament with a collective record of 110-1 record: Gary Tolleston (27-1), Indianapolis Washington (29-0), Marion (27-0) and Vincennes Lincoln (27-0).


1970       Becoming the fourth ever state champion without a loss at 28-0, East Chicago Roosevelt tops Carmel, 72-62, for the state crown.


1971       Matching its cross-town rival’s feat of a year earlier, East Chicago Washington becomes the third consecutive state champion and fifth overall to finish the year unblemished at 29-0 following its 70-60 win over Elkhart in the final game.


1971       The last of 41 state finals is contested at Hinkle Fieldhouse.


1972       First of three years the state finals were played at Assembly Hall in Bloomington.


1975       First state finals at Market Square Arena.


1978       Originally scheduled to be played March 25, winter weather and an energy crunch caused by a coal miners strike force a delay of the state finals until April 15. Muncie Central goes on to win its sixth state championship defeating Terre Haute South in overtime, 65-64, three weeks later than originally anticipated.


1979       Muncie Central repeats as state champion with a 64-60 victory over Anderson and wins its seventh IHSAA state basketball title.


1983       Marion standout James Blackmon pours in a state finals single game record 52 points, but Anderson, behind 42 points from Troy Lewis, emerged the victor in the afternoon semifinal game, 89-87, in double overtime.


1985       The 75th year of the state basketball tournament saw Marion capture its fourth championship with a 74-67 victory over Richmond to become the sixth undefeated championship team at 29-0. Coach Bill Green joins Glenn Curtis, Everett Case and Marion Crawley with four titles to his credit.


1986       Coach Bill Green of Marion becomes first person to coach five state championship teams in leading Marion to its second straight crown in a 75-56 win over Anderson.


1987       Marion defeats Richmond, 69-56, and joins Franklin (1920, 1921, 1922) as the only teams to win three straight state titles; Bill Green coaches his sixth state championship team.


1988       The three-point field goal is introduced to the high school game.


1988       Muncie Central captures its eighth state championship with a 76-53 victory over Concord.


1990       The state finals are moved to the Hoosier Dome (renamed RCA Dome in 1994) and draws a national high school record crowd of 41,046 which sees Damon Bailey lead Bedford North Lawrence to a 63-60 upset of top-ranked Concord in the title game. It would be the last of 61 consecutive state finals sell-outs.


1996       Ben Davis, making its record-setting fourth consecutive appearance in the state finals, defeats New Albany for the championship, 57-54, in double overtime. Jeff Poisel’s three-pointer at the buzzer scores Ben Davis its second consecutive state title.


1996       Following more than two years of research and meetings by the Class Sports Study Committee, the IHSAA Board of Directors considers the committee’s proposal, which calls for multiple-class formats in several sports, including basketball, and passes it 12-5 at its annual meeting on April 29. Implementation is scheduled for the 1997-98 school year.


1996       In a September 17 vote, the first referendum of a Board of Directors decision in IHSAA history, the membership upholds the April 29, 1996 action by a margin of 220 to 157. Eight ballots are not received by the voting deadline and, as specified in the IHSAA By-Laws, a simple majority of the membership (193 of the 385 member schools) is needed to overturn the original vote.


1997       Bloomington North defeats Delta, 75-54, in the championship game of the final single class state tournament.


1997       As a compromise with opponents to the multiple class tournament format, the IHSAA Executive Committee adopts the “Tournament of Champions” pitting the four state championship teams into their own tournament the following weekend.


1998       The state tournament is separated into four different classes based on school enrollment as Pike (Class 4A), Indianapolis Cathedral (3A), Alexandria (2A) and Lafayette Central Catholic (A) win their respective state championships.


1998       Pike (Class 4A) defeats Lafayette Central Catholic (Class A), 87-44, in the championship game of the Tournament of Champions at the RCA Dome.


1999       At its May 3 meeting, the IHSAA Executive Committee votes to eliminate the Tournament of Champions after two years effective with the 2000 state tournament.


2000       State Finals move to Conseco Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis, the new home of the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association (NBA).


2003       Cass (26-0) in Class 2A and Pike (29-0) in 4A become the seventh and eighth teams, respectively, in tournament history to finish the season undefeated with their championship game victories.


2003       In leading Cass to a 57-48 victory over Forest Park in the Class 2A title game, Basil Mawbey becomes the first coach in tournament history to lead three different schools to a championship game. Mawbey led Connersville to the 1983 title and Kokomo to a runner-up finish in 1989.