Top-seed New York escapes Indiana
Great State Debate bracket
Even if Indiana had Reggie Miller, it's doubtful the Hoosier State could have beaten New York in this week's Great State Debate.
Miller, the legendary NBA sharpshooter who bedeviled New Yorkers with his play for the Indiana Pacers against the New York Knicks in the 1990s, actually is from a California high school.
Indiana does have a strong love affair with high school boys' basketball and has a tradition of support that includes crowds of as many as 41,000 for state finals. Against the overall greatness of New York, however, Indiana went down in a 56.4 percent to 43.5 percent defeat.
As the top seed, New York now moves on to face either No. 4 Pennsylvania or No. 5 Michigan in a semifinal vote.
Indiana had to place at least second in an earlier vote just to gain entrance to this week's No. 1 versus No. 8 debate. It now joins Georgia, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia on the sidelines.
The state that placed first in that previous vote, Kentucky, is up next as the No. 7 seed in next week's contest. The Blue Grass State has a tall order to fill, as its opponent is Illinois, the No. 2 seed and the state, of course, with Chicago as its hoop dreams anchor.
Best of the Great State Debate"Indiana overrated? Have you watched the last two NBA drafts? Conley and Oden in the top 10 in 2007. Hill, Lee and Gordon in the first round in 2008. That is just the last two years. Bird and Oscar Robertson would be on almost everyones top 10 all-time list. Robertson may have been the best to ever play, although I think Lebron will eventually have that title. You are a joke!"
"Indiana high school basketball is definitely overrated. It's status is based almost entirely on Hoosiers and Larry Bird. They just don't match up with some of the other top states as far as consistent quality and depth from year to year."
"If this is really about boys' basketball (not NBA, NCAA, etc.) then Indiana has to be in the top 2-3 (along with NC, IL, etc) Anyone who has played/seen H.S. basketball in these states knows its a different game than in other states. Players and fans actually know the fundamentals, run intricate offensive/defensive schemes, etc. It's not just about getting your star player his shots in or making national rankings/highlight reels (AAU style..) H.S. basketball is a part of the culture in these states (much like football in the southwest..) Watch the movie Hoosiers, very good reflection of the position the sport has in the state.. Just play pickup with 5 guys from Indiana, you'll be running a motion offense and help-side D before you can say Wooden."
"It is absolutely crazy to not add Indiana to this list. My understanding is that this debate is about the state that produces the best basketball. That is not only the amount of professional athletes, but college, and high school as well. Also you are talking about the importance of the sport to that state. In an effort not to repeat the many others telling great players past and present from the state, the best evidence of Indiana's superior hold on title of "The Basketball State" is the fervor of high school basketball in the state. If you have attended a high school game you know exactly what I am talking about. This state is home to many of the largest high school gyms in the world (New Castle, Kokomo, Anderson, Richmond, etc.), plus you throw in the history of Hinkle Fieldhouse, Assembly Hall, and as much as it pains me to say Mackey Arena. There is no doubt that Indiana deserves to be on this list, not only for their production of quality athletes at all levels, but also because of their unmatched passion for the game. If you don't believe me just take a drive through the state and see how long it takes you to find a goal (whether attached to a barn, a tree, a pole) that is being put to use."
Mark Tennis is the deputy sports editor for ESPNRISE.com
GREAT STATE DEBATE
The Great State Debate poses a simple question: Which state has the best high school basketball? We narrowed the field to six. SportsNation selected the final two from a group of six. In the eight team bracket, Michigan was crowned champion. MORE
California// California, Illinois boast impressive résumés
// Flores: Debate within a state
// Golden State advances to Round 2
// California edges past New Jersey
// Round 1: California vs. New Jersey
// Watch: California legends
Georgia// Georgia legends
// Winklejohn: SW Macon still remembered
Illinois// Michigan, Illinois vie for title
// Peoria, not Chicago, boasts best high school hoops
// California, Illinois boast impressive résumés
// Illinois advances in Round 1
// Bush: Pingatore sets high bar in Illinois
// Round 1: Kentucky vs. Illinois
// Watch: Illinois legends
Indiana// Indiana legends / Highlights
// Giuffra: Half man, half amazing // Indiana faces tough test in New York
// Indiana, Kentucky voted in
Kentucky// Bluegrass State eyes upset in Round 1 // Bluegrass legends // Indiana, Kentucky voted in
Michigan// Michigan crowned Greatest State
// Watch: Jemele Hill states her case for Michigan
// Michigan natives star in-state
// Michigan, Illinois vie for title
// Michigan takes a bite out of New York
// New York, Michigan clash in semifinals
// Flint's blue-collar mentality produces top-flight talent
// Michigan muscles out Pennsylvania
// Michigan meets Pennsylvania in first round
// Watch: Michigan highlights
New Jersey// Round 1: California vs. New Jersey
// Watch: New Jersey legends
New York// Why NYC is best place for high school hoops
// New York advances in Round 1
// Kitts: Dan Buckley Gym a treasure
// X's and O's with Jack Curran
// Indiana faces tough test in New York
// Watch: New York legends
North Carolina// North Carolina legends / Highlights
// From Worthy to today, North Carolina produces hoops prodigies
Pennsylvania// Philly gives Pennsylvania hoops its clout
// Michigan meets Pennsylvania in first round
Texas// Texas legends / Highlights
// Texas stakes its claim as basketball state
Virginia// Virginia legends / AI's two-sport beginnings
// Rapoport: Virginia is for ballers
BOYS' BASKETBALL RANKINGS
|Rank||School (City, State)||Rec|
|1||Oak Hill Academy|
Mouth of Wilson, VA
Jersey City, NJ
Flower Mound, TX
|See the full boys' basketball rankings »|