CHICAGO – A pattern is developing at the 2013 Big Ten Tournament for the team in the Cream and Crimson.
Another game, another opponent they failed to beat in the regular season. Like Friday’s game against Illinois, Indiana’s semi-final game in the conference tournament at the United Center would feature a team they faced just once in the regular season.
To add to it, Wisconsin beat the Hoosiers on their home floor. A 64-59 decision on January 15th knocked the Hoosiers from the ranks of the unbeaten in the Big Ten and opened up what would be a frantic chase for the crown.
After getting a win over Illinois on Friday, however, the Hoosiers couldn’t get revenge on the Badgers who beat Tom Crean’s team for a second time this season 68-56 on Saturday at the United Center.
Ryan Evans led the Badgers with 16 points as Bo Ryan’s team shot 51 percent from the floor for the game and hit seven three-pointers. Christian Watford led Indiana with 14 points.
As one would expect with a game against the Badgers the offensive pace was steady if not somewhat slow. Indiana opened a six-point lead midway through the half but Wisconsin rallied on the strength of their outside shooting, hitting a trio of treys in the final 4:41 to open up as much as an eight-point lead.
Indiana trimmed the lead down to three before the half on a three-pointer by Watford with 47 seconds to go, making it 34-31.
Momentum would then bounce up-and-down early in the second half. Wisconsin bolted out to a nine-point lead with five unanswered points, but Indiana went on a 10-0 run of its own to take the lead back. Sam Dekker of Wisconsin then went on an 8-0 run by himself to put Wisconsin up 50-43.
Indiana would get the lead down to one with a quick 6-0 run but Wisconsin would respond with a 5-0 run of their own to push the lead back to six and they never looked back. In the final three minutes of play the Hoosiers hit just one shot from the floor as their hopes of advancing to their first Big Ten Tournament title game since 2001 came up a game short.