Date/Time -Tuesday, January 14, 6 p.m. Central
Arena –Assembly Hall (17,472)
Television -ESPN (Mike Tirico, Dan Dakich and Allison Williams)
Radio - Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas)
Series – Indiana leads 93-67 (Indiana leads 51-37 in Bloomington, IN)
Last Meeting – Wisconsin won, 68-56, on March 6, 2013 in the Big Ten Tournament in Chicago
Wisconsin Probable Starters
1 Ben Brust (6-1 Senior Guard, 13.1 ppg)
12 Traevon Jackson (6-2 Junior Guard, 10.8 ppg)
15 Sam Dekker (6-8 Sophomore Forward, 14.3 ppg)
21 Josh Gasser (6-3 Junior Guard, 8.6 ppg)
44 Frank Kaminsky (7-0 Junior Forward, 13.6 ppg)
Off the Bench
10 Nigel Hayes (6-7 Freshman Forward, 6.8 ppg)
13 Duje Dukan (6-9 Junior Forward, 3.9 ppg)
24 Bronson Koenig (6-3 Freshman Guard, 3.9 ppg)
Indiana Probable Starters
0 Will Sheehey (6-7 Senior Forward, 10.8 ppg)
1 Noah Vonleh (6-10 Freshman Forward, 12.3 ppg)
5 Troy Williams (6-7 Freshman Forward, 7.7 ppg)
11 Yogi Ferrell (6-0 Sophomore Guard, 17.5 ppg)
33 Jeremy Hollowell (6-8 Sophomore Forward, 7.7 ppg)
Off the Bench
10 Evan Gordon (6-0 Senior Guard, 7.4 ppg)
12 Hanner Mosquera-Perea (6-9 Sophomore Forward, 3.6 ppg)
13 Austin Etherington(6-6 Sophomore Forward, 1.9 ppg)
22 Stanford Robinson (6-4 Freshman Guard, 5.3 ppg)
Last Time Out
No.4 Wisconsin put forth an effort worthy of its stature during a 95-70 demolishing of No.23 Illinois Wednesday night at the Kohl Center.
Led by Ben Brust's 18 points, five players scored in double figures – for the fifth time this season – for Wisconsin, which shot 32-for-57 (56.1 percent) from the field and seems to break or tie a school record on a nightly occurrence.
The Badgers have started 16-0 for the first time in school history (surpassing the 1911-12 and 1913-14 seasons), moved within one game of tying the modern-era school record for consecutive wins and tied their longest winning streak ever against Illinois.
And unlike their past two games against ranked teams this season, the Badgers left no doubt from the start.
No such problem this time. When the under eight media timeout hit, Wisconsin was shooting 60 percent overall (4-for-8 from deep and 8-for-12 inside the arc) and had just put the finishing touches on a 20-0 run that turned a 13-10 game into a laugher.
When it was all said and done, Wisconsin had another school record - its biggest margin of victory over a ranked opponent.
After seven turnovers Sunday, Jackson rebounded with four assists to two turnovers. Sam Dekker also got himself right with the basketball gods, shaking off a 2-for-12 performance against the Hawkeyes to go 6-for-8 for 17 points.
All this helped Wisconsin score at least 70 points in its seventh straight game, over 80 for the sixth time this season and scores at least 90 points in a regulation conference game for the first time since Jan. 1995 (97-73 vs. Northwestern).
- Benjamin Worgull, BadgerNation.com
A day before the nation fills out its tournament bracket, No.22 Wisconsin is showing it is one of the nation's best, knocking off No.3 Indiana, 68-56, in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals at the United Center with as complete of a performance as it has put together all season.
Wisconsin (23-10) got four players in double figures, shot a blistering 51.0 percent (25-for-49) from the floor, and blocked 10 shots to win its 12th straight game against Indiana (27-6); tying Purdue's run from 1908-1914 as the most consecutive wins over the Hoosiers all time.
"Never gets old," said junior guard Ben Brust, smiling.
Giving the Hoosiers their first double-digit loss of the season, the Badgers own victories over four top-10 teams this season and seven wins over teams in the AP Top 25. And once again, Wisconsin did it with defense.
In Wisconsin's 64-59 win at Bloomington January 15, the Badgers held Indiana to a season low in points (59), field goal percentage (37.0) and 3-point field goal percentage (25.0). Saturday was just as good, as the Hoosiers scored a season-low 56 points while shooting only 38.2 percent from the floor and 29.4 percent from 3-point range.
"I can't tell you how proud I am of the defensive effort on a very good offensive team," said UW coach Bo Ryan. "So every guy that went in there was pretty much sticking to the rules and trying to force Indiana to make some tough shots. I thought our guys accomplished that."
Wisconsin held five of Indiana's top six scorers below its season average, including its top two in Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo. Oladipo (10 points) was held to 1 of 5 shooting in the second half while Zeller (13) shot only 4 of 10 matched up against Jared Berggren.
Wisconsin also forced 13 turnovers and registered 10 blocks, three from Berggren, by being active in the post.
From an offensive standpoint, Wisconsin could not have asked for much more balance. After shooting 60.4 percent in the second half in its win over Michigan, Wisconsin shot better than 50 percent in each half and outscored Indiana in the paint (30-28), on second-chance points (18-11), fast-break points (9-5) and bench points (17-8).
Those stats made up for Wisconsin turning the ball over 15 times and not making its first free throw until 4:43 remained.
Senior Ryan Evans continued his outstanding conference tournament with a game-high 16 points (7-for-12 shooting) and team highs in rebounds (eight), assists (four) and blocks (four). Evans scored 10 of his points in the first half, a stretch that saw Wisconsin score its first 18 points of the game from inside the paint one day after being reluctant to attack inside in the first half against Michigan.
- Benjamin Worgull, BadgerNation.com
The Badgers have won the last 12 games against Indiana by an average of 13.9 points per game.
UW's 12-game win streak over IU equals the most consecutive victories against the Hoosiers by any team in history. The only other team to win 12 in a row vs. Indiana was Purdue, from 1908 to 1914.
The Badgers have won their last 5 visits to Assembly Hall. UW is the only team in history to beat Indiana 5 consecutive times in that building. In fact, no other visiting team has won even 4 straight at Assembly Hall.
Wisconsin's 5-game win streak at Indiana is also tied for the longest by any team at Indiana. The last time a team won 5 consecutive in Bloomington was 1923.
Bo Ryan is 18-3 all-time vs. Indiana. Ryan also boasts a 14-3 all-time record vs. Tom Crean, with 7 of those decisions (and all 3 losses) coming while Crean was at Marquette.
Wisconsin has held Indiana to an average of 57.6 points per game during the 10 meetings with Tom Crean as the IU head coach.
The Badgers have scored at least 70 points in 7 consecutive games, their longest stretch of 70-point outings since opening the 2005-06 season with 8 straight 70-point games. Under Bo Ryan, UW is 172-9 when reaching the 70-point threshold.
Since Bo Ryan was hired in 2001, Wisconsin has been the Big Ten's best road team, owning the most true road wins (70) and best road win percent- age (.515) in the conference. In fact, in that era Wisconsin is the only Big Ten team with a road winning percentage above .500.
According to STATS, Inc., UW is averaging a Big Ten-best 1.23 points per possession (Michigan is second at 1.21). The Badgers are averaging a conference-best 1.26 PPP during Big Ten play.
Dating back to Feb. of 2011, UW has won 71 of its last 72 games when leading or tied with 5:00 left, including a perfect 15-0 mark this season.
Even with the new defensive emphasis from officials, the Badgers are again among the nation's best at defending without fouling. UW leads the nation, averaging just 14.9 fouls per game.
In the last seven games, IU is shooting 40.5% from three-point range (47 for 116). The Hoosiers are fourth in the country in rebounding pulling down 44.0 per game and in rebound margin at +12.3 per game.
The Hoosiers are first in rebound margin (12.3), second in the league in rebounds (44.0), and third in three-point defense (28.5). IU is third in scoring (80.2) and fourth in blocked shots (5.1). IU also has a league-best 42.3 offensive rebounding percent.
Since the start of the 2011-12 season (88 games), no team from a major conference has made more free throws in the country during that span (1,689) than IU. The Hoosiers also lead in free throw attempts (2,257), field goal percentage (48.3), 3-point FG percentage (40.3), free throw percentage (74.8), and are second in scoring (78.4).
Since 2011-12, Indiana is 67-21 (.758 winning pct.) and 44-4 at home
Sophomore Yogi Ferrell is the Hoosiers top scorer, averaging 17.6 points, and is one of the three most improved scorers at a major conference school (+9.9) from last season. Other than playing more minutes and having a bigger role within the offense, how has Ferrell turned into a scoring juggernaut for the Hoosiers? According to his shadow tonight, it's all about Ferrell's speed.
"He's so fast," said Gasser. "He gets the ball, even after a make, he's down the court in a split second. If you are not back (or) if you are not facing him up, he's going to go right by you and score. In the half court, he's so aggressive. He's the leader of that team. He has the ball in his hands a lot. When you have that type of freedom and you are as talented as he is, you can't let him get going early. If he does, he's going to be a pain to stop."
Gasser mentioned that Ferrell reminds him of Green Bay's Keifer Sykes. In Wisconsin's 69-66 win at Green Bay, Sykes shot 13-for-26 for 32 points, nearly beating the Badgers by himself.
Not only has Ferrell improved his overall scoring but has improved his 3-point shooting. After making 30.3 percent of his 3-poitners as a freshman, Ferrell is second in the Big Ten in 3-pointers made (44). He is third in the Big Ten in scoring, sixth in assists (4.2), and fifth in 3-point FG pct. (44.0).
"Just a small, quick little jitterbug out there, who can shoot from the outside and get to the rim," said Gasser. "Even though (Ferrell) is 6-0, he can still finish in the land of the giants down there. He's just a tough kid. He wants to win. He brings a different element with his speed."
Guarding someone with a lot of quickness might not be Gasser's forte at the moment. Still being honest and saying he's not quite at 100 percent after missing all of last season with knee surgery, Gasser says he is good enough to go, especially after five days off.
"I still have some pain here and there," said Gasser. "Usually after practice and games I can't wait to ice because it's a little sore. I am definitely happy with my progress. I am happy out here playing with my teammates and helping us win."
How rowdy is Wisconsin expecting it to be tonight? For one thing, the Badgers piped in loud crowd music into their practice facility on Sunday, something UW breaks out only once in awhile and had yet to do so this year.
"Indiana is a wild place," said Gasser. "It gets pretty loud. The students are back and everything. It's going to be a charged-up environment."
Gasser was excited for a number of reasons for the challenge: playing at a historic venue, playing on the road and channeling the "us-vs.-the-world" mentality.
"It's fun to go into an environment where the only people on your side are the people on the bench and people on the court with you," said Gasser. "It's pretty much our tight-knit group against everyone else in the building. That's what you work for in the offseason. You don't work to play a nonconference game in November. It's January now. We're ready to go."
Indiana is a young team that is still trying to replace four starters from last season's Big Ten regular season championship squad; a group of four that each recorded over 1,000 points during their careers. Sheehey and Ferrell are the two that bring back the most experience and a group that leads the Big Ten in offensive rebounding, prompting Gasser to say it only takes one game to get a team going.
Wisconsin has won 12 games in a row in this series, including a handful of games against better Indiana teams that the one they will be playing tonight. Still, I think this is going to be a one possession game well into the second half, but I think the Badgers' offensive efficiency, overall experience and talent and ability to spread the ball around to a variety of different players will help them overcome being outrebounded to win by nine.
Worgull's Record: 13-3
Points off Prediction: 123 (7.7 per game)