CHICAGO — Logic might dictate that it was in Indiana’s best interest to not win Saturday against Wisconsin.
After all, the Hoosiers had already won the Big Ten’s regular-season title, are almost certainly going to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament anyway, and could probably use an extra day off as they prepare to try to win six games in three weeks.
But for a program that has never won the conference tournament, Saturday’s loss to Wisconsin in the Big Ten semifinals was not at all what they were looking for.
“Obviously we wanted to get this win today,” Cody Zeller said.
“Like Cody said, we really wanted to win this one,” Victor Oladipo said. “We are going to have to go back and watch the film and see what we did wrong, correct it and get ready for the big tournament, because we want to be successful in that as well.”
Tom Crean has had some success in leading a team to the Final Four without winning the conference tournament, with Marquette in 2003.
But he wasn’t going to get into “hypotheticals” comparing IU in 2013 to Marquette from 10 years before.
“My mindset is you try to win every game and take the next one as it comes,” Crean said. “Certainly we would have liked to have won [the Big Ten Tournament], but it doesn’t undo what we’ve done up to this point.
“We’ve had an excellent season, and there’s room for growth, there’s no doubt about that. But we would have liked to have played better today, there’s no question.”
Crean knows the Hoosiers can improve.
“Bottom line is there’s certain things we can get better at … we didn’t play as well today, so it’s just a matter of going and looking at the film, making the corrections we need to make, and moving forward,” he said.