Talk hoops all year long in Luke Winn's blog, a journal of commentary, news and reader-driven discussions about the college game.
2/22/2007 10:24:00 PM
The Ol' Fieldhouse
The view from outside Butler's Hinkle Fieldhouse on Feb. 17.
Hinkle, 30 minutes before the gates opened on BrackBusters Saturday.
The Butler band supports Todd Lickliter's coach of the year candidacy.
I'm finally getting around to posting these pictures of Butler's Hinkle Fieldhouse, aka Home of the Lickliter Tuba, from my BracketBusters trip. I arrived there unfashionably early to get a chance to soak in the atmosphere before the gates opened. My driving route to Hinkle took me through blocks and blocks of a sleepy residential Indy neighborhood, and just at the point when I was starting to question my directions, the trees and houses on 49th Street stopped, and sitting in the middle of a snowy clearing was one of the most beautiful venues in all of college hoops.
The NCAA's Final Four records book says that in the 78-year history of Hinkle, it's only been an NCAA tournament site once, for the 1940 Eastern Regional. Would anyone -- other than the accountants -- object if the NCAA went retro for a year and gave this place a slate of first- and second-round games?
I think that would be GREAT for all of college basketball and for my city of Indianapolis, where basketball tradition is so rich....its almost mystic. There is no better place to understand the importance absolute excitement of college basketball that the NCAA tourney brings than a throwback fieldhouse that has a claim of being one of the nations oldest and most history laden gyms in the entire nation.
Every time I visit Hinkle Fieldhouse, I'm literally speechless, much like walking into a huge cathedral. I've never been to a Butler game, and can only imagine what it's like. Add Minnesota's Williams Arena to the list and I think you're onto something.
When I saw the title of this blog, I was excited to read about the most storied fieldhouse, Allen Fieldhouse at the University of Kansas. No disrespect to Hinkle, but it has nothing on a place that has been home to the likes of James Naismith, Wilt Chamberlain, and Dean Smith.