The Greatest IU Basketball Player of All-Time Bracket: Final Four

  • 04/10/2020 10:43 am in

Welcome back to the “Greatest IU Basketball Player of All-Time” tournament bracket, where Inside the Hall and Assembly Call teamed up to put together a field of 68 former Hoosiers who have left a tremendous impact on the Indiana basketball program.

We have reached the final weekend of competition in the bracket.

All that’s left to do to determine the greatest IU basketball player of all-time is conduct voting in the two Final Four matchups and the championship matchup.

That championship will be held on Monday, but first we must conduct the Final Four.

Both Final Four matchups will be voted on today, featuring the four winners of each region:

– No. 2 seed Walt Bellamy (Pre-Bob Knight region)
– No. 3 seed Isiah Thomas (Bob Knight Pre-’85 region)
– No. 1 seed Calbert Cheaney (Bob Knight Post-’85 region)
– No. 2 seed Victor Oladipo (Post-Bob Knight region)

Among the factors to consider when voting:

– Impact on winning at IU
– Statistical achievement
– How they represented the program and university
– Qualitative impact on the culture and tradition of IU basketball overall

Remember, go to Inside the Hall’s Twitter account to vote on these matchups (the polls will also be embedded in this post once they go live), and you have 24 hours from when the polls go live to vote. (The updated bracket can be found at the bottom of the article.)

Final Four Matchup No. 1

No. 2 Walt Bellamy (Pre-Bob Knight region) v No. 3 Isiah Thomas (Bob Knight Pre-’85 region)

Walt Bellamy (1958-1961)

Bellamy defeated Dick Van Arsdale in the round of 64, Everett Dean in the round of 32, Slick Leonard in the Sweet 16 and Don Schlundt in the Elite 8. For three seasons in the middle of the 20th century, there was likely not a more dominant college basketball player than Bellamy at Indiana. He averaged 20.6 points and 15.5 rebounds per game for his career, famously going on to become the first Hoosier ever selected No. 1 overall in an NBA draft. The All-American still holds IU records for most rebounds in a single game (33), most rebounds in a season (428) and Bellamy has the second-most career rebounds (1,087) among all IU players. Bellamy closed his storied college career with 59 double-doubles. He won a gold medal at the 1960 Olympics with the United States, and is a member of the IU Athletic Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Isiah Thomas (1979-1981)

Thomas defeated Uwe Blab in the round of 64, Ray Tolbert in the round of 32, Kent Benson in the Sweet 16 and Scott May in the Elite 8. The catalyst for Indiana’s 1981 national title and eventual No. 2 overall pick in the NBA draft and 12-time NBA All-Star, Thomas made the most of his two seasons in Bloomington. As a freshman Thomas led Indiana in scoring (423 points), assists (159) and steals (62) while becoming the first freshman to be named to the AP All-Big Ten team. He was a captain of the 1980-81 team as a sophomore, improving his final statistical averages to 15.4 points per game, 5.7 assists per game and 3.5 rebounds per game as the Hoosiers went 26-9 and defeated North Carolina for the college championship. Thomas went on to win two NBA titles with the Detroit Pistons and spent time as the coach of the Indiana Pacers.

Final Four Matchup No. 2

No. 1 Calbert Cheaney (Bob Knight Post-’85 region) v No. 2 Victor Oladipo (Post-Bob Knight region)

Calbert Cheaney (1989-1993)

Cheaney defeated Michael Lewis in the Round of 64, AJ Guyton in the round of 32, Alan Henderson in the Sweet 16 and Steve Alford in the Elite 8. Cheaney’s legacy precedes him. He’s still the Big Ten’s all-time leading scorer, and therefore the leading scorer in IU history, with 2,613 career points and was a three-time All-American under Bob Knight. Postseason accolades flooded Cheaney during his IU career, as he won the Wooden and Naismith awards for national player of the year and was the Big Ten player of the year in 1993. The small forward from Evansville, Indiana, was also named to IU’s All-Century first team and was inducted last year into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. A career 56 percent shooter from the field, Cheaney also shot 44 percent from 3-point range and scored 30 or more points an astounding 13 times. Indiana won 105 games during Cheaney’s four years as a Hoosier.

Victor Oladipo (2010-2013)

Oladipo defeated Dane Fife in the round of 64, Jordan Hulls in the round of 32, Cody Zeller in the Sweet 16 and Yogi Ferrell in the Elite 8. A terrific ball handler and tenacious defender while playing at shooting guard, Oladipo rose from a bench player to a superstar with the Hoosiers, closing his college career by being named a first-team All-Big Ten selection, the Big Ten defensive player of the year, first-team All-American and the Sporting News national player of the year. Oladipo scored 1,235 points in his IU career, one that culminated with a Big Ten title and consecutive appearances in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA tournament. Oladipo, third in IU history with 161 steals and a player shot 53.8 percent for his college career, is one of the most popular IU players in recent history and now plays for the Indiana Pacers after being selected second overall by the Orlando Magic in the 2013 NBA draft.

High Resolution Bracket – Click Here

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