Some college teams just seem to have an edge on others whenever they play.
Indiana has had its share of long streaks over the years in basketball.
Take IU versus Northwestern. From 1971-81, Indiana beat Northwestern 21 times in a row. But that wasn't even the longest streak in the series. From 1988-2003, the Hoosiers beat the Wildcats 26 more times in a row.
There was a time when Wisconsin simply couldn't find a way to beat Indiana. From 1980-96, IU beat the Badgers 31 times in a row.
Indiana and Ball State have played 21 times in history. IU owns a 20-1 record. The only Ball State win in the series came in 1937, 42-38. In the 75 plus years since then, the Hoosiers have won 17 in a row.
Which brings us to a current streak working against the Hoosiers.
That Wisconsin team that went 16 years without a win against IU has put up a pretty good streak of its own against Indiana currently.
The Badgers have won 12 in a row against IU, dating back to the 2008 Big Ten season. Five of those games have been played in Bloomington. Five have been played in Madison. And one each has been played in Chicago and Indianapolis.
Last year, the Badgers came to Bloomington about this time of the year and put a 64-59 decision on Indiana. In March, in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals, Wisconsin came away with a 68-56 win.
The last time Indiana beat Wisconsin was in January of 2007 when the Hoosiers posted a 71-66 decision in Assembly Hall.
Making matters worse for Indiana this time around is that the Badgers are really good. Wisconsin is 16-0 and ranked No. 4 in the nation in last week's Associated Press poll. The Badgers will likely be No. 3 this week after Ohio State got beat by Iowa on Sunday.
The last two wins for Wisconsin have been at home against Illinois and Iowa, both ranked at the time.
But this is the schedule the Big Ten gave the Hoosiers which always looked like a tough four-game start that included a road game at Illinois, a home contest with Michigan State, a road game at Penn State and home game with Wisconsin. Most people felt before the season began that if IU could be 2-2 in that stretch it would be a huge win for the Hoosiers. A 1-3 record looked more likely and 0-4 wasn't out of the question.
It is now after IU's 79-76 victory over Penn State on Saturday. But the 1-2 Hoosiers clearly have their work cut out for them beginning Tuesday night at home against Wisconsin.
One thing working in IU's favor will be that the students have returned to campus. Classes start Monday. In the Big Ten home opener, though the crowd was a sellout, the students weren't on campus yet because of Christmas break.
Will that streak reach 13 in a row for the Badgers. That would seem to be the favored opinion around the conference but the Hoosiers are badly in need of a signature victory on their 11-5 resume.
Wisconsin would provide that signature.
I think Tuesday night will be a interesting evening in Assembly Hall.
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch