The Greatest Series: Top Performance No. 1

It's time for the No. 1 individual performance of all-time in Indiana history and it goes to the player who has achieved the only triple-double in Indiana basketball history. And he did it 43 years ago with double digits in points, rebounds and blocked shots.

Each day, has a new installment in “The Greatest” series that will chronicle some of the top players, teams and performances in Indiana basketball history.

The first top 10 countdown has looked at some of the top individual performances in IU history. You can see the first nine installments at the end of this file, but today we have the No. 1 individual performance of all-time..


If you saw Keith Smart’s game-winner and overall performance in the 1987 national championship game rank as the No. 2 individual performance of all-time, you may be wondering what could beat that?

It’s a fair question.

But Steve Downing did something at Indiana in the 1970-71 season that had never been done before. And now, 43 years later it’s a performance that has still not been equaled in Indiana basketball history.

It’s the triple double.

While it may be a common statistical feat in the NBA and even a few other college basketball programs, it’s a rarity at Indiana.

In fact, when Steve Downing accomplished that feat on Feb. 23, 1971 against Michigan it was a once in a 100 years plus of IU basketball kind of moment. It was a big game, too. Michigan came in to the game unbeaten at 8-0 in conference and IU was two games back at 6-2. The game was played in Bloomington.

Downing wasn’t even the leading scorer that night as Indiana beat Michigan 88-79. George McGinnis was the leading scorer with 33 points.

But Downing made history when he reached double digits in three statistical categories: points, rebounds and blocks.

Downing had 28 points, 17 rebounds and 10 blocked shots against the Wolverines and made history in the process.

Stay tuned Monday when the next top 10 countdown begins in our “The Greatest” series. This one will be the greatest last second shots in IU history. If you want to go to the premium board and weigh in with your favorite last-second shots of all-time we have some conversation there. Otherwise, look for No. 10 on the list sometime on Monday.

In order to stay up with previous installments in the series, here are the links to previous stories in the countdown:

Top Performances: No. 10

Top Performances: No. 9

Top Performances: No. 8

Top Performances: No. 7

Top Performances: No. 6

Top performances: No. 5

Top Performances: No. 4

Top Performance: No. 3

Top Performances: No. 2

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