#14 Wisconsin (23-8, 4th seed Big Ten) looks to end their recent B1G tournament woes against #15 Indiana (25-7, 5th seed Big Ten). The game tips off at 1:00 PM CT on ESPN from Bankerâ€™s Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
The Hoosiers come in to this game after the 75-58 win over Penn State in the 1st round on Thursday. Indiana suffered a huge loss in that game when Senior Guard Verdell Jones III went down with a knee injury. Doctors confirmed it was a knee sprain, though it could be worse. “I was hopeful when he went down that it wasnâ€™t as significant, Iâ€™m going to keep holding out that hope, but I donâ€™t obviously feel good about that,” coach Tom Crean said. Jones will miss the rest of the Big Ten tournament and likely means the end of his collegiate career. We here at Madtown Badgers wish him the best.
The Badgers, currently on a 3 game win streak, are looking to build some momentum going in to the NCAA tournament. “Right now weâ€™re kind of on a little roll with three straight wins, weâ€™re just trying to keep it going here,” Josh Gasser said. “We play our best when weâ€™ve got multiple guys scoring in double figures and thatâ€™s what happened the past couple games. If we can continue that, we can hopefully make a little run.”
Wisconsin has lost their last 4 games in the Big Ten tournament. Their last win dates back to 2008, when they won the tournament. Last year the Badgers fell flat in the 2nd round, losing 36-33 to Penn State.
Wisconsin outplayed Indiana the last time these two teams met, getting the 57-50 win at the Kohl Center. On the stat sheet, it looked like Indiana clearly outplayed Wisconsin. The Hoosiers shot 45.7% from the field and 37.5 percent from three, while the Badgers 39.6 percent and only 23.5% from the three. The key to Wisconsinâ€™s vitory was getting to the line. Wisconsin made 15 free throws on 19 attempts, while the Hoosiers went only 5-10 from the line.
Tht game was one of Jarred Berggrenâ€™s best defensive efforts of the year. He allowed Freshman sensation Cody Zeller only 7 points and 3 rebounds in the game. Berggren recorded 5 blocks in route to getting Zeller in to some early foul trouble.
Wisconsin has won the last 9 meetings with Indiana, with an average winning margin of 15.8 points in that streak. Indiana will surely have a home court advantage atmosphere at Bankers Life. The Badgers will need to come out with a lot of intensity if they wanâ€™t to win this game. Recently the Badgers have been nothing but lathargic in the B1G tournament, that streak will need to end. I think Bo will have his guys ready to roll, and Wisconsin will get the W.
Prediction: Wisconsin 61, Indiana 55.