IU, Purdue and Pacers: Indiana's Thanksgiving sports feast
It's sports week in America.
Why it matters: There's probably going to be a game, or five, on in your home.
- Thanksgiving week sports broadcasts drew record viewership last year, in a climate where TV audiences are otherwise tuning out.
Zoom in: The biggest game around here comes Saturday when IU football travels to Purdue to play for the Old Oaken Bucket at noon on the Big Ten Network.
State of play: It's a weak Thanksgiving serving, featuring two 3-8 teams coming off losses (in IU's case, a devastating one against Michigan State) and finishing disappointing seasons.
- In one bright spot, Purdue quarterback Hudson Card is expected to play against IU after missing last week's game at Northwestern.
The intrigue: This could be IU coach Tom Allen's last game.
- Allen has a dismal 33-48 record over seven seasons and the university could fire him — at a cost of a $20.8 million buyout in his contract.
What we're watching: The Butler men's basketball team plays No. 19 Florida Atlantic at 2:30pm Thursday in the ESPN Events Invitational.
- Plus: The No. 21 IU women's basketball team plays No. 19 Tennessee at 6pm tomorrow in a game nationally televised on Fox.
Meanwhile, the Indiana Pacers play the Toronto Raptors at 7:30pm Wednesday and then the Detroit Pistons at 8pm Friday, both at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
💭 James' thought bubble: The Pacers' typical day-after-Thanksgiving home game can make for a festive night out downtown.
- The Circle of Lights celebration starts at 5pm Friday, with the monument lighting scheduled for about 6:50pm.
- Then the Pacers tip off just a few blocks away — you might even have time to grab food.
- I've done both before and had a great time.
Zoom out: The Colts play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 1pm Sunday at home during a huge week in the NFL, which has added a Black Friday game.
The bottom line: It's going to be hard to escape sports — and you might not want to.
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