Date/Time - Thursday, February 24, at 8 p.m. Central
Arena – Assembly Hall (17,456)
Television - Big Ten Network (Gus Johnson and Jim Jackson)
Radio - Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas)
Series – Indiana Leads 93-60 (IU Leads 51-24 in Bloomington)
Last Meeting – Wisconsin won, 83-55, in Madison, Feb. 13, 2010
Wisconsin Probable Starters
3 Trevon Hughes (Senior Guard, 15.4 ppg)
11 Jordan Taylor (Sophomore Guard, 10.0 ppg)
12 Jason Bohannon (Senior Guard, 12.4 ppg)
24 Tim Jarmusz (Junior Forward, 2.7 ppg)
52 Keaton Nankivil (Junior Forward, 8.6 ppg)
Off the Bench
5 Ryan Evans (Freshman Forward, 3.6 ppg)
30 Jon Leuer (Junior Forward, 14.5 ppg)
31 Mike Bruesewitz (Freshman Forward, 1.1 ppg)
33 Rob Wilson (Sophomore Forward, 3.4 ppg)
Indiana Probable Starters
1 Jordan Hulls (Freshman Guard, 6.0 ppg)
2 Christian Watford (Freshman Forward, 12.3 ppg)
5 Jeremiah Rivers (Junior Guard, 6.2 ppg)
12 Verdell Jones III (Sophomore Guard, 14.6 ppg)
25 Tom Pritchard (Sophomore Forward, 4.6 ppg)
Off the Bench
11 Daniel Moore (Sophomore Guard, 1.5 ppg)
23 Bobby Capobianco (Freshman Forward, 2.0 ppg)
32 Derek Elston (Freshman Forward, 4.9 ppg)
33 Devan Dumes (Senior Guard, 7.2 ppg)
Bohannon shattered his previous career high of 20 points by scoring 30 on 11-of-16 shooting to help No.11 Wisconsin wash the sour taste out of its mouth with an 83-55 whitewashing against an Indiana team that never had a chance.
Primarily used for deep shooting purposes his first few seasons, the improvement in Bohannon's game is evident for Wisconsin (19-6, 9-4 Big Ten). Not only is the senior from Marion, Iowa, averaging 12 points per game overall and 13.8 in conference play, both career highs, Bohannon is setting precedence with his defense – already setting personal bests in steals (29) and blocks (14) - and has become extremely dangerous when the ball isn't in his hands.
Bohannon also made a career-best seven three-pointers on 11 attempts to tie the school record, done most recently by Nankivil at Purdue.
The game unfolded perfectly for Wisconsin, as the start was the perfect opportunity for the Badgers to right the wrongs committed on Tuesday.
In the home loss to Illinois, snapping UW's 18 game home unbeaten streak and perfect 51-0 mark at the Kohl Center against unranked conference teams under Coach Ryan, the Badgers scored the game's first eight points, led by as many as 11 points in the first half and didn't let the Illini reach double figures until the 8 minute, 23 second mark before giving it all away.
So one could imagine some hesitance when the Badgers scored the game's first eight points, led by 12 early and didn't let the Hoosiers break double digits until the 10:56 mark.
It didn't matter that there is a distinct different between first-place Illinois and ninth-place Indiana, as Wisconsin had a point to prove. When the first-half lead swelled to as many as 28, the Badgers assured the rest of the conference that they are still a factor in the title race.
Wisconsin shot 50.8 percent from the floor (32-of-63), won virtually every hustle category imaginable, from rebounds (33-26, 15-8 on the offensive end) to steals (8-4) to blocks (3-0), and out scored Indiana in the paint 32-16 after registering only six points in the paint in its last contest
Last Time Out:
Leuer's offense is still a work in progress, but his defense was the key, helping No.14 Wisconsin evade a colossal breakdown to outlast Northwestern, 70-63, Sunday afternoon.
The win gives Wisconsin (20-7, 10-5 Big Ten) its seventh 20-win season under Head Coach Bo Ryan, and ninth in the past 12 seasons, a fitting tribute seeing as Dick Bennett and the 2000 Final Four team that were honored at halftime, the first team to make 20 wins a standard benchmark.
It's also important in terms of keeping Wisconsin's slim conference title hopes alive, as the Badgers move into sole possession of fourth place. It was also fitting seeing as just like the surprising run to Indianapolis 10 years ago, nothing came easy for the Badgers in making sure it remained the only Big Ten team to avoid consecutive losses this season.
In the last seven games played at the Kohl Center in the series, Wisconsin a perfect 7-0 record against the Wildcats, winning by an averaging of 19.7 points per game.
With a 14-point lead six minutes into the second half, the synopsis seemed to follow a similar path, especially after Wisconsin shot 71 percent in the opening half to build the 14-point cushion – its highest shooting percentage for a half this season and a vast turn around after shooting 30.5 percent in its loss to the Gophers.
But playing against a squad hoping to set a program record for wins and make the national tournament for the first time, Northwestern (17-10, 6-9) made its push, with sophomore John Shurna being the catalyst. After scoring 11 in the first half, Shurna scored 15 points down the stretch to help the Wildcats cut the lead to one twice on two separate occasions in the final 3:06.
That ‘almost' happened fortunately for Wisconsin down the stretch, as Northwestern was held without a field goal after junior Michael Thompson driving layup cut the lead to 62-61 with 3:06 remaining.
Guard Jordan Taylor shrugged off a 1-for-8 shooting performance against home-state Minnesota on Thursday by making his four shots and scored 14 points in the opening half, but committed three second-half turnovers and finished with 16 points.
Hughes finished with 13 points and five rebounds and Leuer, playing in his second game since returning from a broken bone in his left wrist, looked more comfortable in the offense, finishing with 11 points.
Bohannon scored a team-high 17 points (his sixth straight game scoring at least 15), but it was his two plays that made a big difference in ending the first half on a 12-2.
The Badgers have won 11 of the last 14 games between the teams, including five straight
Wisconsin is going for its third-consecutive season sweep over IU and fourth of the Bo Ryan era (2004, 2007 and 2008)
UW's last series sweep of IU prior to 2004 was in 1944.
Bo Ryan's Badgers are 11-3 vs. Indiana
After losing 22 consecutive games at IU's Assembly Hall from 1978-2001, UW is 4-2 in its last six visits
Ryan boasts a 7-3 all-time record vs. Tom Crean, with seven of those decisions coming while Crean was at Marquette.
With Sunday's win over Northwestern, Wisconsin reached the 20-win plateau for the ninth time in the last 12 years. The Badgers have reached that mark seven times in Bo Ryan's nine season in Madison.
Wisconsin (10-5) is looking for its 11th Big Ten win. Ryan has led UW to at least 11 conference wins in six of his first eight seasons. In the first 96 years of Big Ten play, UW won 11 Big Ten games seven times.
UW is one of five teams in the nation to post three or more wins vs. the AP top 10 (with Syracuse, Georgetown, Pitt and Purdue). Wisconsin has also defeated No. 15 Ohio St. and No. 21 Maryland. UW is one of seven teams to post five top-25 wins.
The Badgers lead the conference in scoring defense during Big Ten play, allowing opponents a meager 56.0 points per game. Ohio State is distant second at 60.2 points per game.
Wisconsin (23-of-29) made more free throws than Northwestern (17-of-22) attempted in its most recent outing. The Badgers have accomplished that feat eight times this season. UW attempted more foul shots than its opponent Sunday for the first time since an 8-6 edge against Penn State on Jan. 24, a span of seven games.
Little used walk-on guard Daniel Moore played a season-high 22 minutes at Wisconsin and scored a Big Ten career-high seven points against the Badgers. He made 3-of-4 field goals and also added two steals and two rebounds.
In the last five games, IU has shot 74.8 percent from the free-throw line and shot a season-best 25 of 28 (89.3 percent) from the stripe against Michigan State. The Hoosiers have shot a higher percentage than its opponents in seven of its last 10 games.
In the last five games, Jones III is averaging 16.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists. He has made 34-of-37 free-throw attempts (91.9 percent) during that time frame.
The Hoosiers are the 337th most experienced team (out of 347) in college basketball according to kenpom.com. During Crean's tenure, the Hoosiers have started an average of nearly three freshmen per game in his 57 games, as Indiana has penciled in 162 frosh among the 285 starts (56.8 percent) that have occurred since last season.
The Badgers are a perfect 13-0 this season when shooting a higher field goal percentage than their opponents. It's not a death sentence, as Wisconsin is 7-7 in games when the opponent posts a higher field goal percentage, which shows the Badgers are finding ways to win. Against Indiana, without a dominant defensive post presence, Wisconsin should attack the paint and reestablish some momentum down on the lower block.
Interesting to note that the Hoosiers do not have a player who has been in the program for four seasons. The lack of experience has hurt the Hoosiers during this losing streak, but they have played Purdue and Illinois tough at home. The Badgers will need to jump early, much like they did at home, to take the Hoosiers.
It's harder to win on the road, but I can see a 13-point Wisconsin victory for the Badgers.
Worgull's Record: 20-7
Points off Prediction: 305 (11.3 per game)