INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 09: Rob Wilson #33 of the Wisconsin Badgers attempts a shot against the Indiana Hoosiers during their quarterfinal game of 2012 Big Ten Men's Basketball Conferene Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 9, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
I almost wrote the headline as "Hoosiers drop to Hot Badgers" but that sounded kinda dirty. Still, give them credit - the Badgers were hitting their threes, not turning the ball over, and hitting the glass. At one point early in the second half I noticed that they had a mere four turnovers, eight offensive boards (and the Hoosiers had... zero... I think, at that point) and were shooting 50% from three. I guess all those the misses from Iowa games came back around for Bo Ryan's team in this game.
Christian Watford & Jordan Hulls were hot, but stops were rare for the Hoosiers. Wisconsin only turned the ball over five times for the entire game. As John Gasaway tweeted "My prediction that Indiana would win the Big Ten tournament was predicated on the assumption that Indiana would record at least 1 stop." Well, technically, the Hoosiers did get at least one stop. The Hoosiers didn't do too badly on rebounding once they settled down, but they still gave up 10 offensive rebounds, and recorded no blocks and 1 steal for 40 minutes. Wisconsin's tough to turn over, but really, IU needed to make some plays.
Jordan Hulls continued his hot shooting, bringing the Hoosiers close on a number of occasions. He followed up his 20-point performance against PSU with a 17 point performance today, and somewhat surprisingly shot 6-for-9 on two's.
Christian Watford continued his good rebounding, snagging another double-double, and threw in some decent shooting as well. He hit all five of his free-throws, shot 5-of-10 from the field, and hit a couple of threes.
Cody Zeller scored 17 points, but got his first rebound until 3 and a half minutes into the second half. I think there's the area I'd like to see him concentrate in the offseason.
Defense on the perimeter was obviously an issue, and evidently Wisky's guards bricked a couple of layups, to boot. And although the Badgers hit some threes, the stellar perimeter offense really was keyed by...
Wisconsin senior Rob Wilson, who had been the 7th man off the bench this season, was hot as could be. If Indiana left him open a little bit at first, they could hardly be blamed as he had shot 35% from the field in conference play, 30% from three, and last year he shot 5.9% from three for the year. Let me say again, that's a five-point-nine percentage, good for 1-for-17, for the entirety of last season. So, yes, this 30-point outburst was indeed an aberration. Sincerely, good luck to him and the Badgers from here on out - maybe win a game or two in the NCAA tourney for once this year.
As for Indiana, Hoosier await the results of the NCAA tourney seeding on Sunday. A 3-seed seems unlikely at this point, but a four-seed wouldn't be unreasonable to ask... perhaps in a location that might allow the newly-re-energized Hoosier fanbase to easily attend and boost flagging ticket sales, eh, NCAA? Just a thought.
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