Here's a closer look at Tuesday's Indiana opponent:
Wisconsin Badgers (22-5, 9-5)
Last time out: W, 79-74 at Iowa on Saturday
The Badgers pulled off their 10th road win of the season, which leads the Big Ten, in a down-to-the-wire victory against Iowa Saturday in Iowa City, Iowa. Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky led his team with a game-high 21 points, including a few crucial plays in the final minute that sealed the win.
After Iowa went ahead 72-71 with just over a minute remaining, Kaminsky responded with a jumper to take what would be the team's final lead of the game. He then stole the ball under the basket on the other end from Iowa's Roy Devyn Marble, drawing a foul and knocking down to free throws to expand his team's lead to three.
In the opening minutes, the Badgers nearly couldn't miss, hitting 12 of their first 16 shots to pull ahead to a double-digit lead. They led going into halftime 40-31, but Wisconsin hit a cold streak as the team missed its first six shots of the final 20 minutes, while Iowa worked its way back, finding a rhythm and taking a 52-51 lead with just over 10 minutes remaining. The lead swayed back and forth with Iowa ahead 62-58 with 6:27 remaining, but in the final minutes, it was the Badgers who exited victorious, despite scoring just 20 points in the first 16 minutes of the second half.
Record: 23-12 (12-6 in the Big Ten Conference)
Wisconsin struggled a bit through the team's non-conference schedule to start last season. After losing to Florida in Gainseville, Fla. 74-56, the Badgers also fell to Creighton, Virginia and Marquette, though, they stormed into the Big Ten, winning four games in a row for the first time sine the 2007-08 season.
The Badgers won their fourth game of the conference schedule in Bloomington, beating the Hoosiers 64-59 for IU's first loss in conference play. The team then lost three of four games – including losses to Iowa, Michigan State and Ohio State. Ryan's squad finished winning seven of the team's final 10 Big Ten regular season games, earning Wisconsin the No. 4 seed in the conference post-season tournament.
After a bye in the first round, the Badgers downed Michigan 68-59 before taking down IU for the second time of the season 68-56 to move into the finals against Ohio State. Wisconsin would fall, though, 50-43 in a defensive standoff, earning a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
But in a first round upset, the Badgers fell to No. 12 seed Ole Miss 57-46 after scoring just 21 points in the second half.
What they do well:
This Wisconsin team, different than the ones from the past several years, excels scoring the ball from all areas of the court. Rather than grinding wins out and slowing teams down to boring, sluggish speeds, the Badgers force teams to keep up. During their five-game winning streak, they've scored under 75 points just once. They rank fourth in the Big Ten in scoring at 73.5 points per game.
In IU's narrow victory against the Badgers earlier this season, the Hoosiers managed to keep Wisconsin off the foul line nearly the whole game allowing them to shoot just four free throws, and the team made just one. With IU's front court so thin, look for the second-best free throw shooting team in the conference to battle inside against Vonleh to get him into foul trouble while getting as many trips to the charity stripe as possible.
The Badgers are also the best in the conference at taking care of the ball, giving up just over eight turnovers a game. IU fans and media have watched the Hoosiers give it up that many times in a half several times this season. This veteran Wisconsin squad forces teams to play their very best to compete, and IU will have to play another nearly flawless game to come out victorious.
F Frank Kaminsky, Jr.
Kaminsky wasn't on our watch list earlier in the season, but he's come on the scene recently as someone the Hoosiers simply can't ignore when Wisconsin has the ball. IU Players and coaches alike have acknowledged that Wisconsin puts a five-man team on the court filled with players who can score during every minute of the game, but lately, there hasn't bee anyone as potent as Kaminsky, who's scored in double-figures in each of his last four games – all Wisconsin wins – including a 25-point performance against Michigan more than a week ago.
He's the team's highest percentage scorer with a mark of 54.8 percent shooting from the field, to go along with 41 percent from beyond the arc and 80 percent from the free throw line. Kaminsky has taken double-digit shots the past two games as well and seems to be playing with a lot of confidence. One of the first tasks in stopping Wisconsin's winning streak is halting Kaminsky's recent success.
G Ben Brust, Sr.
Brust leads the charge as the team's most experienced leader, playing nearly 35 minutes per game for the Badgers this season. As one of four Wisconsin players to average double-figures in scoring, he can't get lost in the half-court, but possibly his biggest asset is his ball handling.
Brust has coughed up the ball just 19 times this season in 27 games, a great mark for someone who spends so much time on the court and has the ball in his hands so often. He also succeeds from the free throw line, where he leads the conference with a 90.3 percentage. If he can drive past IU's young guards into the lane and draw a few fouls, unlike Wisconsin was able to do against IU earlier this season, his points from the charity stripe could be pivotal.