Wisconsin Basketball: Badgers set to take on Indiana Hoosiers at Assembly Hall
The Wisconsin Badgers will visit Bloomington to take on the struggling, but dangerous Indiana Hoosiers Tuesday night.
It is a game that many Big Ten and college basketball fans had circled on their calendars. A potential top 20 matchup just two weeks ago now has one team fighting to get back on track.
The Indiana Hoosiers (10-4) were once a top five team, having knocked off the likes of Kansas and North Carolina in impressive fashion. A fluke loss to in-state rival Fort Wayne on the road caused some concern, but their dominance over the Tar Heels followed by a string of destructing wins over teams they should beat silenced the critics and put Indiana right back in the national spotlight.
Today, both teams have played just one conference game, with the Badgers winning their opener against Rutgers by 20, as expected. The Hoosiers on the other hand welcomed in a Nebraska team that had six non-conference losses on their record already, including a home loss to Gardner-Webb. Nebraska took the game by storm, shocking Indiana on the road and ending their 26-game win streak at Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers then followed up that defeat with a 15-point loss at home to Louisville, pushing their losing streak to two games and three out of their last five.
Despite the struggles, the Hoosiers are still a talented team, especially at home, and whenever Wisconsin and Indiana meet the end results are usually close. Last season, their two regular season meetings had a combined win margin of just four points. Indiana defeated the Badgers at home early in the conference season by one, while the Badgers took care of business at home later on, winning in overtime by just three points.
The Badgers have been polar opposites of the Hoosiers recently, looking to make it nine straight wins since their Maui championship loss to North Carolina, although head coach Greg Gard thinks there is still room for improvement.
“We’ve gotten better,” Gard said. “I don’t think we’re where we need to be. I think we can be more consistent, specifically from guys that are coming in off the bench. That’s one area that I’d like to continue to see growth.”
Indiana has the highest scoring offense in the Big Ten, averaging just over 86 points a game while the Badgers are first in the conference in scoring defense, allowing 59 points per contest. Something has to give tonight.
The Hoosiers are currently just one-point favorites. Tip off is at 6:00pm CT on ESPN.
- Wisconsin: Bronson Koenig, 14.1 ppg
- Indiana: James Blackmon Jr., 17.3 ppg
- Wisconsin: Ethan Happ, 9.6 rpg
- Indiana: Thomas Bryant, 7.6 rpg
- Wisconsin: Nigel Hayes, 3.3 apg
- Indiana: Josh Newkirk, 3.6 apg
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