Wisconsin beats Indiana for 12th straight time, advances to title game
By Andy Proffet Post-Tribune correspondent March 16, 2013 4:28PM
Wisconsin's Sam Dekker (15) dunks over Indiana's Cody Zeller during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big Ten tournament Saturday, March 16, 2013, in Chicago. Wisconsin won 68-56. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Updated: April 18, 2013 7:10AM
CHICAGO — No one has ever won more consecutive games against Indiana than Wisconsin.
The Badgers notched their 12th consecutive victory over the Hoosiers on Saturday, tying the record for most straight wins against IU. Purdue also has 12 straight wins in its series with the Hoosiers, but that was set from 1908 through 1914.
Wisconsin’s 68-56 upset of top-seeded IU in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals sent the Hoosiers back to Bloomington early and snapped a string of three straight tournament titles by the conference’s No. 1 seed.
So what’s the secret of Wisconsin’s success?
“They’re a very good team, extremely well-coached, disciplined, great staffs, inside-outside scoring, great balance, they’re just an all-around great team,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “They’ve been for a long, long time. As long as (Bo Ryan’s) the coach there, they will be.”
Ryan said Friday that he wasn’t even aware of his string of success against the Hoosiers.
Jared Berggren said the Badgers (23-10) didn’t have any extra confidence coming in to Saturday’s semifinal.
“We just take it one game at a time,” said Berggren, who finished 4-for-4 from the field with 11 points as one of four Badgers to score in double figures. “We wanted to come down here to try to win a championship.
“But we knew that we were capable of having success against this team.”
Indeed, the Badgers held the Hoosiers (27-6) to their lowest scoring output of the season and hassled IU into shooting 38.2 percent from the field.
“Credit them, they did a great job down the stretch, and we had some key turnovers,” Victor Oladipo said.
“We’ve got to look back and see what we did wrong and fix it, get ready for the NCAA Tournament.”
The Hoosiers will have some extra time to get ready for the NCAA Tournament after becoming the first No. 1 seed to fail to win the Big Ten Tournament since Michigan State lost in the 2009 tournament semifinals.
Of course, those Spartans went on to reach the national title game before losing to North Carolina.
The Hoosiers aren’t taking any solace in whether losing so soon in the Big Ten Tournament will pay greater dividends come next weekend.
“We really wanted to win this one,” Oladipo said. “We’re going to have to go back and watch film and see what we did wrong and correct it.”
Christian Watford led the Hoosiers with 14 points. Zeller (13 points and 11 rebounds) and Oladipo (10 points) also scored in double figures, but were a combined 8-of-22 from the field.
Ryan Evans led Wisconsin with 16 points, while Ben Brust (12) and Sam Dekker (11) joined Evans and Berggren in double-figure scoring.