Date/Time - Thursday, January 20, at 8 p.m. Central
Arena – Kohl Center (17,230)
Television - ESPN (Bob Wischusen & Stephen Bardo)
Radio - Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas)
Series – Indiana Leads 93-61 (IU leads 40-36 in Madison)
Last Meeting - Wisconsin won, 78-46, on Feb. 25, 2010 in Bloomington, Ind.
Wisconsin Probable Starters
11 Jordan Taylor (Junior Guard, 17.0 ppg)
24 Tim Jarmusz (Senior Forward, 4.1 ppg)
30 Jon Leuer (Senior Forward, 19.2 ppg)
31 Mike Bruesewitz (Sophomore Forward, 5.0 ppg)
52 Keaton Nankivil (Senior Forward, 9.2 ppg)
Off the Bench
5 Ryan Evans (Sophomore Forward, 3.1 ppg)
21 Josh Gasser (Freshman Guard, 5.4 ppg)
33 Rob Wilson (Junior Guard, 2.4 ppg)
40 Jared Berggren (Sophomore Forward,3.7 ppg)
Indiana Probable Starters
1 Jordan Hulls (Sophomore Guard, 10.0 ppg)
2 Christian Watford (Sophomore Forward, 16.4 ppg)
4 Victor Oladipo (Freshman Guard, 8.4 ppg)
5 Jeremiah Rivers (Senior Guard, 3.3 ppg)
12 Verdell Jones III (Junior Guard, 12.8 ppg)
Off the Bench
10 Will Sheehey (Freshman Guard, 4.3 ppg)
25 Tom Pritchard (Junior Forward, 1.5 ppg)
32 Derek Elston (Sophomore Forward, 5.8 ppg)
Last Time Out
Winning its 18 consecutive game following a loss, Wisconsin outworked No.16 Illinois in the second half thanks to the play of its three leaders – Jon Leuer, Taylor and Keaton Nankivil – a group that scored 81.6 percent of its points in a 76-66 victory Saturday afternoon.
After the crunch-time implosion it experienced Tuesday, the opportunity to seize control was only go to last so long for the Badgers. Enter Nankivil to right the ship, as the senior helped Wisconsin (13-4, 3-2 Big Ten) take control in the first three minutes of the second half, hitting two 3-pointers, the second of which capped a 10-0 run to give the Badgers a 37-25 working margin.
Just as big was his sequence at the midway point that Nankivil positioning underneath forced senior Mike Tisdale to the bench with his third foul with 10 minute left. The next series down, he promptly hit a three in the face of Tisdale's replacement, extending the lead back to 12.
Nankivil finished with 14 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 assists, a performance that gave him his eighth double-digit performance in the last nine games, a nice compliment to Leuer scoring 15 of his game-high 26 points after halftime and Taylor adding 22 points by virtue of going 16 of 18 from the free throw line.
"He's been big for our team and one of the most underrated players in the league if you ask me," Taylor said. "He's athletic as anybody and he went up like a receiver. That was a big rebound and to get Tisdale to the bench. He got us going and he kept us going with that play."
In holding Illinois (13-5, 3-2) to 30.2 percent shooting, its lowest of the season, the Badgers made both parts of Illinois' one-two punch of Demetri McCamey and Tisdale work for everything it got. After the duo scored a combined 46 points in the team's first meeting, a 69-61 Illini win Jan.2, Nankivil made Tisdale a non-factor, as the Illini senior finished with eight points, nine rebounds and three turnovers.
Although McCamey finished with a team-high 23, the defense of Taylor and senior Tim Jarmusz limited him to only 3-for-13 shooting.
No.17 Wisconsin unveiled a brand new starting lineup by intergrading Leuer for the first time since breaking a bone in his left wrist Jan.9 with the three-guard lineup that carries the Badgers to a 6-3 record in his absence.
Combine with Nankivil finding his touch again from the perimeter, all five starters finished in double figures for the first time this season, results that wound up crushing Indiana, 78-46.
In giving the Hoosiers their largest margin of defeat for the Hoosiers in historic Assembly Hall, Wisconsin (21-7, 11-5 Big Ten) its 12th victory in the last 15 games in this series and its sixth straight win over Indiana, something the Badgers haven't done since the late 1940s.
Throw in the fact that the 32-point victory marked the Badgers' largest road win in Big Ten play since Feb. 9, 1942, a 54-20 (34-point) win at the University of Chicago, and it seems UW is peaking at the right time.
The success that lineup produced for Wisconsin Coach Bo Ryan was nothing short of remarkable. In addition to the scoring prowess, the starting five shot a combined 57.8 percent, grab 20 rebounds and notch eight blocks.
"I like the results whenever we play like this," Ryan said. "It doesn't matter who starts."
Hughes broke out of his mini-slump, scoring a game-high 17 points, moving into 13th place on the Badgers' all-time scoring list. Hughes went 6-of-9 from the field, a proficient 3-of-4 from three-point range and only committed one turnover.
Leuer, who started in place of Jarmusz, scored the most points since returning from his injury (13), and continued to be a presence in the post, grabbing a game-high seven rebounds and tied his college-high with four blocks.
Nankivil had 14 points, tied his career high with four blocks and broke open a once tight game at 20-16 with back-to-back three-pointers, spurring UW on a 19-6 run to end the first half to lead by 17 at the break.
Much like pulling away to begin the second half of 09's contest in Indiana, the Badgers opened up a 9-2 run out of the gates and kept piling on.
Indiana is the only Big Ten team to own an overall winning record in games played in Madison.
Wisconsin has won six straight games against Indiana and 12 or the last 15 meetings. The Badgers have won the last six contests by an average of 19.3 points per game.
Head coach Bo Ryan is 12-3 all-time vs. Indiana. Ryan also boasts an 8-3 all-time record vs. Tom Crean, with seven of those decisions coming while Crean was at Marquette.
Junior Verdell Jones III needs 11 points to become the 42nd player in IU history to reach 1,000 points in their career. He has scored 989 career points and has averaged 13.0 points for his career.
Sophomore Christian Watford is eighth in the Big Ten averaging 16.4 points per game, which is the most of any sophomore in the Big Ten. He is fifth in the conference in free throw percentage (84.1) and has made a team-high 90 free throws in 107 attempts.
Sophomore Jordan Hulls is third in the league in 3-point field goal percentage (51.5 percent), and also is fourth overall in the Big Ten hitting 56.7 percent of his field goal attempts. He is averaging 12.0 points in Big Ten play.
Freshman Victor Oladipo is averaging 11.2 points and 3.8 rebounds in the last five games and is shooting 50.0 percent from the floor during that time. He also is 10th in the league in steals at 1.33 per game.
Indiana held Michigan to 15 points in the first half, the fewest points IU has allowed in a half this season and the fewest for the Wolverines in a half this year. The last time the Hoosiers held an opponent to 15 points in a half came against Purdue on Jan. 31, 2002. Indiana entered the locker room with a 30-15 advantage.
The Badgers have turned the ball over an average of 6.2 times per game in Big Ten play, including a Div. I-low two times vs. Minnesota and three at Illinois. UW leads the nation in both fewest turnovers (8.2 per game) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.71).
The Badgers' 49 points in the second half against Illinois ranks as the team's second-highest scoring half of the season. UW posted 58 points in the second half of their 99-55 win over Prairie View A&M. The second-half scoring was UW's largest output in a Big Ten game since scoring 50 in the 2nd half of a 78-73 win over Ohio State (2/15/06).
A year after leading the Big Ten and ranking third in the nation with a 3.03 assist-to-turnover ratio, Taylor is out to do even better in 2010-11. This season, Taylor ranks second in the NCAA with a sparkling +3.95 ratio (79 assists/20 TOs).
Indiana has averaged 80.5 points the last two games, but those have come against Northwestern and Michigan and not against a team who prides itself on defense as much as Wisconsin. The Badgers held Illinois to a season-low 32.7 percent from the field and are now limiting foes to 39.2 percent shooting, which is tied with Minnesota atop the conference.
The Badgers have held 10 of their 17 opponents under 60 points this season. UW is 147-14 (.913) under Bo Ryan when keeping teams below the 60-point mark. The Hoosiers have scored over 60 points just twice in the last six meetings.
It was already going to be hard for the Hoosiers to pull off an upset, but it looks to be near impossible after sophomore guard Maurice Creek suffering a stress fracture on his right patella near the end of Saturday's game against Michigan. Last year, Creek missed all of the Big Ten season with a fractured left patella. He had started 13 games this season and was averaging 8.3 points. Last year, Creek was averaging 16.4 points before he suffered his season-ending injury on December 28.
Crean, who averaged over 20 wins a season in nine years at Marquette and led the Golden Eagles to five NCAA Tournament appearances, is 26-54 in his time with Indiana, a tough road considering his program was stripped to the bone when he took over in '09. A victory won't happen here tonight, as I can see UW winning this game by a cool 22 points.
Worgull's Record: 16-1
Points off Prediction: 105 (6.2 per game)