Wisconsin fends off No. 2 Indiana
by Terry Hutchens, USA TODAY Sports
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — There’s something about Bo Ryan and the Wisconsin Badgers that brings out the worst in Indiana basketball.
Indiana seemed to have everything going in its favor before the game. A No. 2 national ranking, favored by double-digits and playing at Assembly Hall where the Hoosiers had gone 29-1 the past two seasons.
None of that mattered Tuesday night as Wisconsin simply hit one big shot after another and hit enough free throws down the stretch to knock off No. 2 Indiana 64-59 before a capacity crowd of 17,472 at Assembly Hall.
Wisconsin won for the 11th time in a row against the Hoosiers and improved to 9-0 against IU coach Tom Crean in his five seasons at Indiana. The Hoosiers also had a 18-game home win streak snapped by Wisconsin. Indiana is now 11-1 at home this season.
But this one came down to big shots and the Badgers simply hit them.
Two of those shots came at the most opportune time for Wisconsin. The Badgers (13-4, 4-0 Big Ten) had built a 10-point lead at 51-41 with 10:08 to play before the crowd at Assembly Hall got into it and IU made a few defensive stops.
Before you knew it, the Hoosiers (15-2, 3-1) had trimmed the lead to one at 52-51 with 4:42 when Yogi Ferrell hit a three-pointer from the top of the key.
The lead was still one at 54-53 following a pair of Christian Watford free throws with 3:39 remaining.
But that’s when the Badgers hit the big shots. On the next possession, IU defended well for 34 seconds of the shot clock and Victor Oladipo was draped all over Ryan Evans as the senior forward put up a desperation 15-footer at the shot clock buzzer. And it went in.
After IU turned it over on the next time down, point guard Traevon Jackson hit a big 15-foot jumper of his own with 2:23 to play and quickly the lead was back to five at 58-53.
“They made some shots that I’m not sure how they made,” said Crean on IU’s postgame radio show. “It looked like those old Larry Bird-Michael Jordan … [For more on Wisconsin fends off No. 2 Indiana for 64-59 upset, click here.]