For years, Wisconsin has had Indiana's number. Most years, Bo Ryan brought a less talented team into Assembly Hall, and beat Tom Crean's Hoosiers anyway with his methodical, plodding offense.
You could argue that Ryan's retirement is most significant for Crean and Indiana. Why? Well, quite frankly, this is not the same Wisconsin team.
Indiana, fresh off back-to-back road wins over Rutgers and Nebraska, will host the Badgers on Tuesday night at Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers (12-3) have won seven consecutive games since an ugly loss at Duke, and there's little chance of them looking past Wisconsin. Indiana will honor its 1975-76 national championship at halftime on Tuesday, the last team to go undefeated in college basketball.
Wisconsin (9-6) ranks 59th nationally by KenPom.com and has already lost four home games this season. The Badgers still play at one of the slowest paces in the country, ranking 341st in adjusted tempo.
To beat Wisconsin, you have to keep tabs on two guys: Bronson Koenig and Nigel Hayes. Hayes is averaging 15.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game, and Koenig is averaging 13.9 points per contest. Hayes is a difficult matchup for the Hoosiers because of his size. Troy Williams is likely too thin to guard him in the post, but Thomas Bryant would have a difficult time dealing with Hayes on the perimeter. It will be interesting to see how Indiana tries to defend him.
Zak Showalter is coming off a monster game against Rutgers in which he had a career-high 21 points on 8-of-8 shooting.
Indiana coach Tom Crean didn't offer an update on James Blackmon during the Big Ten teleconference on Monday morning. He was also asked about adding a football player to the roster down the stretch, but Crean said there have been no discussions about that at this point.
Indiana received 2 votes in Monday's AP poll, as well. The Hoosiers play two home games this week, against Wisconsin and Ohio State (Sunday).