Evansville Purple Aces

Are part of the Missouri Valley Conference, were established in 1854, and their home arena is Ford Center, University of Evansville in Evansville, Indiana.
Evansville Purple Aces

The Evansville Purple Aces, a team rich in tradition and spirit, have etched their name in the annals of NCAA basketball with a unique blend of history, culture, and unyielding competitive spirit. This journey through their storied past and dynamic present reveals a tapestry woven with triumphs, trials, and an unwavering commitment to teamwork. From their humble beginnings to their current aspirations, the Aces embody the essence of collegiate basketball’s spirit and passion.

Intriguing Facts About the Evansville Purple Aces

  • Historic Dominance: Marking their early basketball era, the Purple Aces clinched five Division II national championships (1959, 1960, 1964, 1965, 1971), a testament to their dominance in the sport’s earlier days. This impressive record speaks volumes about the team’s foundational strength and enduring legacy.
  • Name Origins: Originally known as the Pioneers, the team was renamed the Purple Aces in the 1920s following a sports writer’s praise for their ace-like performance. This name has since become synonymous with the team’s identity and its spirited play on the court.
  • NCAA Milestones: The Aces have made significant strides in NCAA Division I, appearing in five tournaments with a combined record of 1-5. These appearances mark key moments in the team’s evolution and their enduring pursuit of excellence at the highest levels of collegiate basketball.
  • Upsetting the Odds: On November 12, 2019, the Aces created a seismic shift in the basketball world by upsetting the top-ranked Kentucky team at Rupp Arena. This victory, against all odds, is a shining example of their ability to compete with and triumph over nationally acclaimed programs.
  • Cultural Shifts: In a strategic move that reflected their growing athletic ambitions, the team transitioned from the Midwestern Collegiate Conference to the Missouri Valley Conference in 1994. This shift not only marked a new chapter in the team’s history but also positioned them for greater national visibility and competition.

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The Historical Tapestry of the Evansville Purple Aces

Tracing back to the early 20th century, the roots of Evansville basketball are deep and storied. Achieving national prominence in the 1950s under the legendary coach Arad McCutchan, the team clinched several Division II national championships. This golden era set a legacy of success and laid the groundwork for future generations. The team’s journey through the decades has been marked by highs and lows, each period contributing to the rich tapestry that makes up their history.

The Golden Era

The late 1980s and early 1990s represent a significant chapter in the Aces’ history, marked by the leadership of Coach Jim Crews. This era saw the team make multiple NCAA tournament appearances, including a memorable second-round finish in the 1988-89 season. It was a period characterized by a competitive spirit and tactical brilliance, with key players elevating the team’s performance. The philosophy of Coach Crews, emphasizing teamwork and resilience, left a lasting imprint on the program.

Legendary Figures in Evansville History

The history of the Purple Aces is adorned with legendary figures like Jerry Sloan and Don Buse, whose contributions have been pivotal in shaping the team’s legacy. Their achievements, both on and off the court, have left indelible marks on the program and continue to inspire generations of players and fans alike.

A Game to Remember

The Aces’ stunning victory over top-ranked Kentucky in 2019 stands as one of the most memorable games in their history. This David versus Goliath matchup not only showcased the Aces’ ability to defy expectations but also highlighted their tactical prowess and team cohesion. The impact of this victory resonates beyond the score, symbolizing the team’s potential to achieve greatness against all odds.

Evansville Purple Aces [year] Schedule

Regular Season

Week Date Opponent Result
Week 1 Date: Mon 06/11/2023 Opponent: Miami (OH) RedHawks Result: W 72-64
Week 1 Date: Thu 09/11/2023 Opponent: Univ. of Health Sci and Pharm Eutectics Result: W 116-46
Week 2 Date: Wed 15/11/2023 Opponent: SE Missouri St. Redhawks Result: W 76-57
Week 2 Date: Sat 18/11/2023 Opponent: Ball St. Cardinals Result: W 74-50
Week 3 Date: Fri 24/11/2023 Opponent: Chattanooga Mocs Result: W 85-77
Week 3 Date: Sat 25/11/2023 Opponent: SE Missouri St. Redhawks Result: W 93-74
Week 4 Date: Wed 29/11/2023 Opponent: Missouri St. Bears Result: L 78-90
Week 4 Date: Sat 02/12/2023 Opponent: Northern Iowa Panthers Result: W 91-89
Week 5 Date: Tue 05/12/2023 Opponent: Brigham Young Cougars Result: L 55-96
Week 6 Date: Sat 16/12/2023 Opponent: Bellarmine Knights Result: W 70-61
Week 7 Date: Mon 18/12/2023 Opponent: Tenn-Martin Skyhawks Result: W 98-91
Week 7 Date: Wed 20/12/2023 Opponent: Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles Result: W 82-51
Week 8 Date: Fri 29/12/2023 Opponent: Cincinnati Bearcats Result: L 58-76
Week 9 Date: Wed 03/01/2024 Opponent: Indiana St. Sycamores Result: L 73-87
Week 9 Date: Sat 06/01/2024 Opponent: Murray St. Racers Result: L 59-81
Week 10 Date: Wed 10/01/2024 Opponent: Bradley Braves Result: L 50-86
Week 10 Date: Sat 13/01/2024 Opponent: Missouri St. Bears Result: L 64-74
Week 11 Date: Wed 17/01/2024 Opponent: Valparaiso Beacons Result: W 78-75
Week 11 Date: Sat 20/01/2024 Opponent: Drake Bulldogs Result: L 48-97
Week 12 Date: Tue 23/01/2024 Opponent: Northern Iowa Panthers Result: L 63-70
Week 12 Date: Sat 27/01/2024 Opponent: Illinois St. Redbirds Result: W 58-54
Week 13 Date: Wed 31/01/2024 Opponent: Illinois-Chicago Flames Result: W 77-60
Week 13 Date: Sat 03/02/2024 Opponent: Valparaiso Beacons Result: W 63-62
Week 14 Date: Wed 07/02/2024 Opponent: Bradley Braves Result: W 73-70
Week 14 Date: Sat 10/02/2024 Opponent: Murray St. Racers Result: L 70-73
Week 15 Date: Tue 13/02/2024 Opponent: Drake Bulldogs Result: L 75-78
Week 15 Date: Sun 18/02/2024 Opponent: Illinois St. Redbirds Result: L 79-86
Week 16 Date: Wed 21/02/2024 Opponent: Illinois-Chicago Flames Result: L 79-88
Week 16 Date: Sun 25/02/2024 Opponent: Southern Illinois Salukis Result: L 53-65
Week 17 Date: Wed 28/02/2024 Opponent: Indiana St. Sycamores Result: L 67-85
Week 17 Date: Sun 03/03/2024 Opponent: Belmont Bruins Result: L 66-83

Post Season

Week Date Opponent Result
Conf. Tournament Date: Thu 07/03/2024 Opponent: Illinois St. Redbirds Result: W 59-53
Conf. Tournament Date: Fri 08/03/2024 Opponent: Drake Bulldogs Result: L 58-79
CBI Date: Sun 24/03/2024 Opponent: Quinnipiac Bobcats Result: W 64-63
CBI Date: Mon 25/03/2024 Opponent: Seattle Redhawks Result: L 57-71

Home of Evansville Purple Aces: Ford Center

The Ford Center, the home venue of the Purple Aces, is more than just a sports facility; it is a symbol of the team’s aspirations and a crucible where basketball dreams are forged and realized. With a capacity of 10,000, it not only hosts games but also embodies the community’s support and spirit. The arena’s modern amenities and vibrant atmosphere make it a formidable fortress for the Aces and an integral part of their identity.

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