Wisconsin makes it 12 in a row over Indiana
BY HERB GOULD firstname.lastname@example.org March 16, 2013 10:10PM
Wisconsin guard Ben Brust deflects a pass by Indiana guard Jordan Hulls in the first half of the Wisconsin Badger's 68-56 win over the Indiana Hoosiers in a semi-final game of the Big ten Tournament March 16, 2013 at the United Center. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
WIScONSIN vs. Ohio St.
The facts: 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Ch. 2.
Updated: April 18, 2013 7:11AM
Indiana owns its first outright Big Ten regular-season title since 1993. It’s destined for a No. 1 seed when the NCAA tournament bracket comes out Sunday.
But Wisconsin owns the Hoosiers. When the Badgers beat Indiana 68-56 in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament Saturday, it was their 12th consecutive victory in this series, including two meetings this year.
‘‘We’re playing our best basketball at the end of the season. That’s what you want to do,’’ senior forward Mike Bruesewitz said. ‘‘[This victory] just means we have a bunch of guys who want to play hard. That’s how college basketball has gone this year. It’s going to make for a great NCAA tournament. I don’t think a whole lot of No. 1 seeds are going to be making the Final Four.’’
Wisconsin (23-10) held Indiana (27-6) to its lowest point total of the season. The Hoosiers average 80.8 points, second in the nation.
The key to slowing the Hoosiers?
‘‘Defense,’’ Badgers forward Ryan Evans said. “We played great defense. That forces them to take better shots. If they want to play fast and take bad shots, that’s on them.’’
If there is fretting by IU fans after this loss, it doesn’t extend to the Hoosiers themselves.
“That’s an awful tough question when you get beat like this today,’’ coach Tom Crean replied when asked if IU, like Wisconsin, is playing its basketball. “If you’d asked me yesterday, I’d have had a different answer.’’
True enough. Indiana has an excellent and balanced lineup, one worthy of the top seed in the NCAA tournament. It just wasn’t the Hoosiers’ day.
“We wanted to get this win,’’ said Cody Zeller, who had 13 points and 11 rebounds but was 4-for-10 going 9-for-11 against Illinois on Friday. “We’ll learn form it. Figure out what we did wrong, make the corrections and get ready for next week. Because that’s when it’s most important.’’
Wisconsin shot 51 percent, including 7-for-18 on threes. It held the Hoosiers to 38 percent shooting, including 5-for-17 from beyond the arc.