The Indiana Hoosiers might be just one game away from locking down a No. 1 seed for the NCAA Tournament. The team that they have to beat on Saturday in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals is the Wisconsin Badgers at the United Center.
Wisconsin had a great first game of the Big Ten Tournament, taking down the Michigan Wolverines with a great late charge. F Ryan Evans had a great game against a solid Michigan outfit, putting together 12 points, six boards, and six helpers. The team is going to need to get probably just a tad bit more offense in this one to keep up with the Hoosiers, though. G Ben Brust and G Traevon Jackson both had good games, scoring 14 points apiece, but F Jared Berggren had a slacking game with just eight points on 4-of-12 shooting. The Badgers kept their third straight foe down to 60 points or fewer, but that’s going to be a very difficult task against one of the best offensive teams in the county. Here’s what we will say about the first game that these two teams played this year: Indiana was held down to just 59 points and 37.0 percent shooting from the field, and if you take out the play of F Cody Zeller, the Hoosiers only shot 25.2 percent from the floor.
Indiana stormed past the Illinois Fighting Illini on Friday in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals, and it is going to be the tremendous favorite to make it to Sunday’s finale. The Hoosiers are one of the best teams in the nation, and they have a tremendous score to settle after losing at home to the Badgers two months ago. Zeller, as we have already discussed, had a great game by scoring 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting. However, what we think is going to be the key in this one is the play of G Victor Oladipo. Oladipo only scored 10 points and had five rebounds in that game against Wisconsin the first time these two met, but since then, he has been an absolute beast. He averaged 14.4 points, 7.1 boards, 2.1 steals, 1.9 assists, and 1.0 blocks per game. Indiana hit 54.0 percent of its shots from the field against Illinois on Friday, and it knocked down 21-of-24 shots from the floor as well.
The Hoosiers are clearly one of the best teams in the land, and they are going to win this game to move on to the final. However, we aren’t all that sure that Indiana is going to have enough to beat the number. In games like this one, we know that we want the points on our side, knowing that it very well could be a tossup situation that comes down to the final possession or two. Indiana 68 – Wisconsin 66
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.