CHICAGO — After Wisconsin’s quarterfinal win on Friday in the Big Ten Tournament, Bo Ryan was asked about his team’s success against its next opponent, Indiana.
“I don’t know about anything that you’re talking about,” Ryan said. “I don’t even think about those kinds of things. Never have. And people that know me will tell you that.”
How about after the Badgers defeated the top-seeded Hoosiers 68-56 on Saturday, Wisconsin’s 12th straight win in the series which denied IU the chance for the program’s first conference tournament championship?
“We don’t really think about that,” Wisconsin’s Jared Berggren said. “We just take it one game at a time. 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. If we stuck to our rules and played our style of basketball, we were able to do that today to come up with a win.”
Indeed, the Badgers (23-10) stuck to their game plan while the Hoosiers (27-6) did not.
“We’ve been defending the [3-pointer] the last six or seven games at an incredibly high level. And today we didn’t,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said.
Wisconsin wasn’t stellar from 3-point range, hitting just 7 of 18 (38.9 percent). But each make seemed to come just as the Hoosiers were mounting a comeback.
“They got some kick-out 3s and things of that nature, but we got away from what had really been making us better, and we started to over-help again and tried to cover for one another when there was no need to do it,” Crean said.
The Badgers led 34-31 at halftime after shooting 15 of 29 from the field. Wisconsin extended its lead to 40-31 before an IU comeback.
The Hoosiers used a 10-0 run, capped by a Remy Abell free throw, to take a 41-40 lead with 13:27 to play. Ben Brust hit a 3-pointer to put Wisconsin back in front, then Jordan Hulls tied the game at 43-all on a jumper with 12:51 remaining.