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Evansville Purple Aces men's basketball

The Evansville Purple Aces men's basketball team represents the Purple Aces of the University of Evansville, located in Evansville, Indiana, in NCAA Division I basketball competition. They are currently led by head coach Walter McCarty and play their home games at the Ford Center. Evansville's athletics teams were originally known as the Pioneers in the early part of the 1900s. In the 1920s, the name Aces arose after a local sports writer wrote in a game story of the men's basketball team, "They played like Aces." The team has been known as the Aces and/or Purple Aces ever since. Evansville has won five Division II national championships (1959, 1960, 1964, 1965, 1971).

Evansville Purple Aces
2018–19 Evansville Purple Aces men's basketball team
Evansville Purple Aces logo.svg
UniversityUniversity of Evansville
Head coachWalter McCarty (1st season)
ConferenceMissouri Valley
LocationEvansville, Indiana
ArenaFord Center
(Capacity: 10,000)
NicknamePurple Aces
ColorsPurple, White, and Orange[1]
              
Uniforms
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Home jersey
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Team colours
Home
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Away jersey
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Team colours
Away
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Alternate jersey
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Team colours
Alternate
NCAA Tournament Champions
1959*, 1960*, 1964*, 1965*, 1971*
NCAA Tournament Final Four
1958*, 1959*, 1960*, 1964*, 1965*, 1971*
NCAA Tournament Elite Eight
1958*, 1959*, 1960*, 1963*, 1964*, 1965*, 1968*, 1971*
NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen
1957*, 1958*, 1959*, 1960*, 1962*, 1963*, 1964*, 1965*, 1966*, 1968*, 1971*, 1972*, 1976*
NCAA Tournament Second round
1989
NCAA Tournament Appearances
1957*, 1958*, 1959*, 1960*, 1961*, 1962*, 1963*, 1964*, 1965*, 1966*, 1968*, 1971*, 1972*, 1976*, 1982, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1999
*at Division II level
Conference Tournament Champions
Midwestern Collegiate Conference
1982, 1992, 1993
Conference Regular Season Champions
Midwestern Collegiate Conference
1982, 1987, 1989, 1992, 1993

Missouri Valley Conference
1999

Contents

HistoryEdit

 
The memorial display case at the Ford Center honoring UE's championship tradition

In the early years of the men's basketball program the Purple Aces appeared in the NAIA national tournament. The Purple Aces appeared 4 times in the NAIA Tournament (1941, 1942, 1951, and 1955). The Purple Aces had a NAIA tournament record of 3-4. The furthest Evansville got in the NAIA tournaments was in third round (NAIA Quarterfinals) in 1951, only to lose to Regis University (Colo.) 70-68.[2]

Shortly after the 1955 season the Purple Aces would move up to the NCAA College Division, now called NCAA Division II. The Evansville Purple Aces rank second all-time in NCAA College Division national championships with five: 1959, 1960, 1964, 1965 (29-0 record) and 1971. The 1964 and 1965 teams starred NBA Legend Jerry Sloan, the 1971 team featured future NBA star Don Buse and future NCAA referee Steve Welmer.

In 1977, UE began playing in NCAA Division I athletics. That same year on December 13, a chartered DC-3 carrying the entire UE basketball team crashed in a field near the Evansville Regional Airport en route to a game against Middle Tennessee State. Every member of the team and coaching staff on the plane was killed. One player was not able to attend the game and thus was not on the plane; not long after the plane crash, however, the player who was not on the plane was killed in a car accident along with his younger brother.

Tremendous community support brought back the basketball program the next year. Evansville was a charter member of the Midwest Collegiate Conference, now known as the Horizon League. The Aces won or shared the MCC regular season title in 1982, 1987, 1989, 1992, and 1993. They also won the conference tournament title in 1982, 1992, and 1993. The Aces are now a member of the Missouri Valley Conference, and won the 1999 regular season title.

Legendary Aces coach Arad McCutchan was the first NCAA College Division coach selected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

The Purple Aces have made five trips to the NCAA Men's basketball tournament (1982, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1999) [3] and two trips to the NIT (1998, 1994).[4]

Seasonal recordsEdit

Season Team W L PCT Conf. Record Postseason head coach
Independent
1977–78 Evansville 1 3 .250 Bobby Watson
1978–79 Evansville 13 16 .448 Dick Walters
Midwestern Collegiate Conference
1979–80 Evansville 18 10 .643 1–4 Dick Walters
1980–81 Evansville 19 9 .679 6–5 Dick Walters
1981–82 Evansville 23 6 .793 10–2 NCAA First Round Dick Walters
1982–83 Evansville 13 16 .448 6–8 Dick Walters
1983–84 Evansville 15 14 .517 7–7 Dick Walters
1984–85 Evansville 13 16 .448 4–10 Dick Walters
1985–86 Evansville 8 19 .296 3–9 Jim Crews
1986–87 Evansville 16 12 .571 8–4 Jim Crews
1987–88 Evansville 21 8 .724 6–4 NIT Sweet Sixteen Jim Crews
1988–89 Evansville 25 6 .806 10–2 NCAA Second Round Jim Crews
1989–90 Evansville 17 15 .531 8–6 Jim Crews
1990–91 Evansville 14 14 .500 7–7 Jim Crews
1991–92 Evansville 24 6 .800 8–2 NCAA First Round Jim Crews
1992–93 Evansville 23 7 .767 12–2 NCAA First Round Jim Crews
1993–94 Evansville 21 11 .656 6–4 NIT First Round Jim Crews
Missouri Valley Conference
1994–95 Evansville 18 9 .667 11–7 Jim Crews
1995–96 Evansville 13 14 .481 9–9 Jim Crews
1996–97 Evansville 17 14 .548 11–7 Jim Crews
1997–98 Evansville 15 15 .500 9–9 Jim Crews
1998–99 Evansville 23 10 .697 13–5 NCAA First Round Jim Crews
1999–2000 Evansville 18 12 .600 9–9 Jim Crews
2000–01 Evansville 14 16 .467 9–9 Jim Crews
2001–02 Evansville 7 21 .250 4–14 Jim Crews
2002–03 Evansville 12 16 .429 8–10 Steve Merfeld
2003–04 Evansville 7 22 .241 5–13 Steve Merfeld
2004–05 Evansville 11 17 .393 5–13 Steve Merfeld
2005–06 Evansville 10 19 .345 5–13 Steve Merfeld
2006–07 Evansville 14 17 .452 6–12 Steve Merfeld
2007–08 Evansville 9 21 .300 3–15 Marty Simmons
2008–09 Evansville 17 14 .548 8–10 CIT First Round Marty Simmons
2009–10 Evansville 9 21 .300 3–15 Marty Simmons
2010–11 Evansville 16 16 .500 9–9 CBI Second Round Marty Simmons
2011–12 Evansville 16 15 .516 9–9 CBI First Round Marty Simmons
2012–13 Evansville 21 15 .583 10–8 CIT Semifinals Marty Simmons
2013–14 Evansville 14 19 .424 6–12 Marty Simmons
2014–15 Evansville 24 12 .613 9–9 CIT Champions Marty Simmons
2015–16 Evansville 25 9 .735 12–6 Marty Simmons
2016–17 Evansville 16 17 .485 6–12 Marty Simmons
2017–18 Evansville 17 15 .531 7–11 Marty Simmons
2018–19 Evansville 0 0 .000 0–0 Walter McCarty
Totals 647 564 .534

Postseason resultsEdit

Division I NCAA tournament resultsEdit

The Purple Aces have appeared in five NCAA Division I Tournaments. Their combined record is 1–5.

Year Round Opponent Result
1982 First Round Marquette L 62–67
1989 First Round
Second Round
Oregon State
Seton Hall
W 94–90 OT
L 73–87
1992 First Round UTEP L 50–55
1993 First Round Florida State L 70–82
1999 First Round Kansas L 74–95

Division II NCAA tournament resultsEdit

The Purple Aces have appeared in 14 NCAA Division II Tournaments. Their combined record is 39–9. They are five time national champions (1959, 1960, 1964, 1965, 1971).

Year Round Opponent Result
1957 Regional Seminfinals
Regional Finals
Illinois State
Buffalo
W 108–96
L 75–77
1958 Regional Semifinals
Regional Finals
Elite Eight
Final Four
National 3rd Place Game
Wabash
Akron
American
St Michael's
Wheaton
W 70–68 OT
W 82–70
W 82–72
L 70–78
W 95–93
1959 Regional Semifinals
Regional Finals
Elite Eight
Final Four
National Championship Game
Belmont Abbey
Wittenberg
St. Michael's
North Carolina A&T
SW Missouri State
W 66–54
W 56–50
W 82–63
W 110–92
W 83–67
1960 Regional Semifinals
Regional Finals
Elite Eight
Final Four
National Championship Game
Arkansas State
Wabush
American
Kentucky Wesleyan
Chapman
W 91–74
W 89–68
W 101–91
W 76–69
W 90–69
1961 Regional Seminfinals
Regional 3rd Place Game
Lincoln (MO)
MacMurray
L 90–77
W 98–97 OT
1962 Regional Seminfinals
Regional Finals
North Carolina A&T
Southern Illinois
W 97–82
L 83–88
1963 Regional Seminfinals
Regional Finals
Elite Eight
Concordia (IL)
Washington-St. Louis
Southern Illinois
W 66–56
W 85–76
L 73–86
1964 Regional Semifinals
Regional Finals
Elite Eight
Final Four
National Championship Game
Jackson State
Southern Illinois
Cal Poly Pomona
Northern Iowa
Akron
W 97–69
W 64–59
W 95–73
W 82–67
W 72–59
1965 Regional Semifinals
Regional Finals
Elite Eight
Final Four
National Championship Game
Bethune-Cookman
Bellarmine
Philadelphia
St. Michael's
Southern Illinois
W 116–77
W 81–74
W 92–76
W 93–70
W 85–82 OT
1966 Regional Seminfinals
Regional Finals
Lamar
Southern Illinois
W 111–103
L 77–90
1968 Regional Seminfinals
Regional Finals
Elite Eight
Lincoln (MO)
SW Missouri State
Trinity
W 95–80
W 79–73
L 77–93
1971 Regional Semifinals
Regional Finals
Elite Eight
Final Four
National Championship Game
Ashland
Central Michigan
Hartwick
Southwestern Louisiana
Old Dominion
W 72–64
W 78–60
W 105–69
W 93–74
W 97–82
1972 Regional Seminfinals
Regional Finals
Wittenberg
Eastern Michigan
W 81–73
L 88–93
1976 Regional Seminfinals
Regional Finals
Wright State
Eastern Illinois
W 85–75
L 73–75

NAIA tournament resultsEdit

The Purple Aces have appeared in four NAIA Division I Tournaments. Their combined record is 3–4.

Year Round Opponent Result
1941 First Round Texas Wesleyan L 62–71
1942 First Round
Second Round
Peru State
East Central
W 73–50
L 30–42
1951 First Round
Second Round
Quarterfinals
Westminster
Morningside
Regis
W 85–74
W 75–62
L 68–70
1955 First Round Atlantic Christian L 88–95

NIT resultsEdit

The Purple Aces have appeared in two National Invitation Tournaments (NIT). Their combined record is 1–2.

Year Round Opponent Result
1988 First Round
Sweet Sixteen
Utah
Boston College
W 66–55
L 81–88
1994 First Round Tulane L 63–76

CBI resultsEdit

The Purple Aces have appeared in two College Basketball Invitationals (CBI). Their combined record is 1–2.

Year Round Opponent Result
2011 First Round
Quarterfinals
Hofstra
Boise State
W 77–70
L 69–75
2012 First Round Princeton L 86–95

CIT resultsEdit

The Purple Aces have appeared in three CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournaments (CIT). Their combined record is 8–2. They were CIT champions in 2015

Year Round Opponent Result
2009 First Round Belmont L 72–92
2013 First Round
Second Round
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
Tennessee State
Eastern Kentucky
Canisius
East Carolina
W 84–72
W 86–72
W 84–83
L 58–81
2015 First Round
Second Round
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
Championship Game
IPFW
Eastern Illinois
Louisiana–Lafayette
UT Martin
Northern Arizona
W 82–77
W 83–68
W 89–82
W 79–66
W 71–65

Retired jerseysEdit

Twelve players and two coaches have had their jerseys retired by the school.

Evansville Purple Aces retired jerseys
No. Player Years played
3 Scott Haffner 1986–1989
5 Marcus Wilson 1995–1999
10 Don Buse 1969–1972
15 Brad Leaf 1979–1982
19 Gus Doerner 1939–1942
20 Hugh Ehlering 1957–1959
Scott Shreffler 1989–1993
31 Andy Elkins 1991–1995
40 Ed Smallwood 1958–1960
50 Larry Humes 1963–1966
Marty Simmons 1986–1988
52 Jerry Sloan 1962–1965
Arad McCutchan 1946–1977
Jim Crews 1985–2002

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Brand Colors - Marketing and Communications". April 12, 2019. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  2. ^ NAIA Championship History Archived March 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ NCAA Basketball History
  4. ^ "NIT Championship Home".

External linksEdit