Date/Time -Saturday, March 16, 12:40 p.m. Central
Arena –United Center (20,500)
Television - CBS (Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg)
Radio - Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas)
Series – Indiana leads 93-66 (Indiana leads 2-1 in neutral sites)
Last Meeting - Wisconsin won, 64-59, on January 15, 2013 in Bloomington, Ind.
Wisconsin Probable Starters
1 Ben Brust (6-1 Junior Guard, 11.4 ppg)
5 Ryan Evans (6-6 Senior Forward, 10.2 ppg)
12 Traevon Jackson (6-2 Sophomore Guard, 6.8 ppg)
31 Mike Bruesewitz (6-6 Senior Forward, 6.5 ppg)
40 Jared Berggren (6-10 Senior Forward, 11.3 ppg)
Off the Bench
3 George Marshall (5-11 Freshman Guard, 4.3 ppg)
15 Sam Dekker (6-7 Freshman Forward, 9.4 ppg)
44 Frank Kaminsky (6-11 Sophomore Forward, 4.3 ppg)
Indiana Probable Starters
1 Jordan Hulls (6-0 Senior Guard, 10.3 ppg)
2 Christian Watford (6-9 Senior Forward, 12.4 ppg)
4 Victor Oladipo (6-5 Junior Guard, 13.7 ppg)
11 Yogi Ferrell (6-0 Freshman Guard, 7.8 ppg)
40 Cody Zeller (7-0 Sophomore Center, 17.0 ppg)
Off the Bench
0 Will Sheehey (6-7 Junior Forward, 9.6 ppg)
23 Remy Abell (6-4 Sophomore Guard, 4.0 ppg)
33 Jeremy Hollowell (6-8 Freshman Forward, 3.1 ppg)
Last Time Out
CHICAGO (BadgerNation) - As hard as it was for No.22 Wisconsin to find the bottom of the net early, it was impossible for the Badgers not to miss down the stretch. Sparked by a 10-0 run early in the second half, No.22 Wisconsin made 15 of its first 22 shots, including 6-of-7 from 3-point range, to shoot by No.8 Michigan, 68-59, in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals at the United Center.
Wisconsin (22-10) shot 60.7 percent after halftime to sweep the season series against the Wolverines.
"When we play together as a team, we can beat anybody," said point guard Traevon Jackson, who facilitated the comeback. "(Michigan) are NBA guys, but we believe in ourselves as well. We got a really talented group of guys and when we come together, we can beat anybody."
After taking 44.8 percent (13 of 29) of its first-half shots from behind the perimeter, Wisconsin dipped that number to 32 percent (9 of 28) in the second half by attacking the rim and drawing contact. The result was Wisconsin scoring 18 points in the paint (compared to four in the second half) and scoring a season-high 51 points for the half.
Putting that number in perspective, there were six games this season when the Badgers didn't reach 51 on the scoreboard.
The production wasn't limited to one source either. Ryan Evans scored 12 points, dishing out a career-high six assists. Mike Bruesewitz registered eight rebounds to go along with his eight points, which included two cold-blooded 3-pointers in the second half to keep Wisconsin ahead for the final 17:21 of the game.
Frank Kaminsky shot 60 percent from the field for the first time since the win at Indiana and Brust registered 14 points and made all three of his second-half 3-pointers, the last of which game Wisconsin its biggest lead at 11 with 6:01 to go.
Jared Berggren only had eight points, but his buckets on back-to-back possessions early in the second half gave the Badgers the lead for good and established their presence in the post.
The post penetration led to kick outs for open 3-pointers that were better guarded in the first half. With Michigan (26-7) collapsing its pressure, Wisconsin started firing and shot 66.7 percent (6-for-9) from 3-point range after halftime.
It wouldn't be a Wisconsin conference game, however, if it didn't become a nail biter at some point. With Berggren and Jackson on the bench with four fouls a piece after UW took its biggest lead, Michigan's 9-0 run was facilitated by production of conference player of the year Trey Burke.
The sophomore had seven of his points during the run, bringing Michigan to within 56-54 with 3:37 remaining. Wisconsin burned a timeout and then got back to work. Held to three points or less in the last four games, Kaminsky made a pull-up jumper that bounced softly around the rim and in as the final seconds of the shot clock ticked off.
That sparked an 11-2 run for Wisconsin, who closed out the Wolverines from that point forward.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (BadgerNation) - Wisconsin got four players in double figures, made all the clutch plays down the stretch, including 4-for-6 from Bruesewitz at the free throw line, and never winced when No.2 Indiana made its run, a big reason the Badgers pushed their winning streak to seven with a 64-59 victory over the Hoosiers.
The win for Wisconsin (13-4, 4-0 Big Ten) is large on a number of fronts. It's the first win for Wisconsin over a team ranked No.2 on the road in school history and first road win over a top five team since 1980. It also extends a couple of Wisconsin's historic streaks over the Hoosiers, as the Badgers have now won 11 straight over Indiana (15-2, 3-1 Big Ten) and five straight at Assembly Hall.
Above all else, it was a statement win that put Wisconsin – currently unranked – alone in first place in the loaded Big Ten.
"It was a gut check for us," said UW coach Bo Ryan, who tied legendary UCLA coach John Wooden for 38th place on the NCAA's all-time win list (664). "We played like junkyard dogs."
With a little bit of grit and a big step forward on the learning curve, Wisconsin made the big plays down the stretch away from home, something that had slipped away from them three previous times this season.
Wisconsin didn't make a field goal in the final 2:25, but it didn't matter with the Badgers clamping down defensively and limiting Indiana to 25 percent (2-for-8) over that same time period and an ugly 26.7 percent in the second half (37 percent overall).
Averaging a nation's best 87.1 points per game and the only Big Ten team to have five players average over 11 points, only Zeller (21 points) and Watford (11) hit the mark, as UW held Hulls – the nation's leading 3-point shooter at 52.5 percent – to four points with no three-pointers and Sheehey (11.4 ppg) to zero off the bench.
Wisconsin's outscored Indiana's bench 16-2 and committed only eight turnovers, helping make up for 37-28 disadvantage on the boards.
Wisconsin answered the bell offensively and defensively, especially in the second half against Zeller and his 16.6 points per game.
A perfect 8-for-8 in the first half, Zeller scored 18 of Indiana's 32 points and bailed out a Hoosiers' team that shot 5-for-20 without his production. He wasn't nearly as productive in the second half, missing his first six shots from the field as the Badgers clamped down defensively.
Wisconsin built that lead early in the second half when Wisconsin went on a 6-2 to take the lead for good after Zeller went out at 15:13. When he returned, Mike Bruesewitz hit a long three-pointer to put the Badgers up 47-39 (the eight-point deficit was the largest the Hoosiers had faced all season).
The lead grew to 10 when Indiana went almost six minutes without a field goal and 3:35 without a point. But just as Wisconsin's offense was the catalyst for building its lead, it was also its preventer.
Going 7:40 between field goals and 3:28 without a point, Indiana went on a 10-1 run to cut the lead to 52-51 with 4:43 remaining.
But junior guard Ben Brust hit a vital baseline jumper after securing an offensive rebound to halt the skid and Ryan Evans – team-high 13 points – hit a tough turnaround jumper on the next possession to extend the lead back to three. Indiana never got closer than four the rest of the way with Wisconsin making six of its final eight free throws.
Wisconsin has won 11 straight games against Indiana and 17 of the last 20 meetings.
Wisconsin beats Indiana, 79-71, in the second round of the 2012 Big Ten Tournament.
The Badgers have won the last 11 games against Indiana by an average of 14.0 points per game.
UW's 11-game win streak over IU is the most consecutive victories against the Hoosiers by any team since 1919. Purdue holds the longest consecutive winning streak over the Hoosiers, winning 12 in a row from Feb.26, 1908 to Feb.9, 1914.
UW's 11-game win streak vs. the Hoosiers is also the 2nd-longest active streak of victories over a single opponent in the Big Ten.
Bo Ryan is 17-3 all-time vs. Indiana. Ryan also boasts a 13-3 all-time record vs. Tom Crean, with seven of those decisions coming while Crean was at Marquette.
Wisconsin is 16-13 in the Big Ten Tournament all-time. The Badgers are 9-7 in their opening game of the tournament and will play in their eighth semifinal all-time. Badgers are 5-2 all-time in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals. Both of those losses came to Michigan State.
As head coach of the Badgers, Bo Ryan boasts a 12-9 record in Big Ten tournament play. Ryan owns the fourth most wins in the tournament by a head coach.
After scoring a season-low 17 points and shooting a season-low 17.2 percent (5-of-29) from the field in the first half, Wisconsin scored a season-high 51 points in the second half on 60.7 percent shooting (17-of-28).
Dating back to February 2011, the Badgers have won 55 of their last 56 games when leading or tied with five minutes to go. That includes a mark of 20-1 this season.
Wisconsin won for only the fourth time this season when shooting a lower percentage from the field than its opponent (38.6 percent to 40.4 percent). Wisconsin has won back-to-back games shooting a lower percentage than its opponent.
The Badgers held Michigan to 20 points in the first half, the lowest output in a half for the Wolverines this season.
Indiana makes its first Big Ten Tournament semifinal since 2006 and its fifth semifinal appearance overall.
Against Illinois, junior guard Victor Oladipo pulled down a game-best 11 rebounds and is averaging. 12.0 rebounds per game over the last two contests.
For the second time this season, junior forward Will Sheehey was perfect from the field in a game, going 4-for-4 for 11 points. He was 9-for-9 on Feb. 16 vs. Purdue.
Senior forward Christian Watford tallied 15 points, his 26th double digit outing in 31 games this year. It was the ninth game of 15 or more points for Watford.
Friday was the 24th time this year Indiana had four players in double figures.
The Hoosiers shot 50 percent or better from the field for the 16th time this season (27-for-50; 54.0 percent).
Watching parts of Indiana's game against Illinois, Wisconsin assistant coach Gary Close didn't learn anything different from watching the Hoosiers pick apart the Fighting Illini that he didn't already know.
"That's a real talented team that can score in a lot of ways," said Close.
Not that they had to after winning the regular season title outright, the Hoosiers proved it with its 16-point win over Illinois. Leading by as many as 20 points in the second half, Indiana got give players in double figures, shot 54 percent for the game, 65.2 percent in the second, 87.5 from the free throw line and out rebounded the Illini by 12.
Indiana did a lot of damage in transition (outscoring Illinois 8-2) and scored a whopping 40 points in the paint thanks to Cody Zeller's 24 points on 9-for-11 shooting. Zeller helped the Hoosiers improve to 16-1 on the season when scoring 80 points or more.
"We can't let them get easy looks in transition and it starts there," said Close.
It would also behoove Wisconsin to not be ice cold to start the half, especially considering Indiana opened the game with a 22-7 run. For an 11-minute span (18:12-7:08) the Hoosiers limited Illinois to just five points, which was eerily similar to the output Wisconsin had (four points from 19:07-6:22).
Averaging 25.0 points per game in his last two outings, Zeller scored 14 in the first half against the smaller Illini, meaning Wisconsin's length inside with vital. Of course, the Badgers scoring 51 points in the second half won't hurt either.
As much as Wisconsin needs to carry over its production from an offensive standpoint, the Badgers' defense will be vital again when it plays Indiana. In the team's only meeting this season, Wisconsin held Indiana – which the nation in scoring and the conference in field goal percentage, 3-point percentage and assists – to season lows in points (59), field goal percentage (37.0), 3-point field goal percentage (25.0), 3-point field goals (3) and assists (7).
"Hopefully we get the same result as last time," said Dekker." They are a great team. They are a team that is going to be fun to play."
Dekker could have a warped definition of fun if Wisconsin doesn't play well defensively like it did against Michigan. On the flip side, Wisconsin will struggle if it plays like it did against the post players of the Spartans a week ago. Indiana looked much more impressive in its quarterfinals win (and already got revenge on one opponent that went 1-0 against them in the regular season), so I'll predict the Hoosiers break the long losing skid to the Badgers with a 10 point win.
Worgull's Record: 20-12
Points off Prediction: 379 (11.84 per game)