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Indiana experiences predictable outcome, loses to Wisconsin in Madison by a decent amount

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Here’s three things from the latest chapter in an exhausting season.

NCAA Basketball: Indiana at Wisconsin Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

I hated everything about tonight. First, the Badgers beat one of my alma maters in the Rose Bowl and now they’ve ground up and spit out the other one tonight.

  • It’s emotionally, mentally, and even physically debilitating to watch this team play basketball right now. I don’t know who is to blame for this, maybe everyone deserves a little. The reliable shooters of the past have mostly moved on, but the ones that remain have turned into bricklayers, seemingly overnight. It has gone on long enough that we can accept this is how it’s going to be this year. Robert Johnson 45% from distance as a sophomore, 37% as a junior, and is sitting at less than 32% this year. Devonte Green is under 30%, Collin Hartman is barely above 30%. The lack of consistent outside shooting makes things way too easy for opponents, who pack the paint and make life miserable for the two guys that, on a different IU team, should be dominating night-in and night-out (De’Ron Davis and Juwan Morgan). The offense stagnates, the effort starts to evaporate, and then the defense collapses. No one on the floor looks like they want to be there, or can even tolerate being there. I haven’t hated watching a team this much since the 2013-14 year, and I think that team would beat this one by 15-20 points.
  • Ethan Happ is great, and in the Kohl Center he’s unstoppable. It’s not a Wisconsin wrap-up if I’m not complaining about the officiating. It’s so consistently, predictably awful that it’s almost not worth complaining about. And it’s not as if it made a difference tonight. But that call on Freddie McSwain at the end of a half that turned a tip-in bucket into two shots the other way about sent me wandering into the cold winter night. Happ got whatever he wanted tonight, and on the off-chance he didn’t, the stripes typically had his back, whether he deserved it or not.
  • I had low expectations this year and they’re still going to fail to meet them. Much like his predecessor, but in slightly different circumstances, I think Archie has discovered he’s got a much bigger rebuild on his hand than he expected coming in. The rest of this season may as well be played on fast forward, because Archie’s best shots at a quick turnaround will have to be acquired on the recruiting trail.