CHICAGO – Indiana will try to take care of another opponent that beat it during the regular season in the Big Ten tournament semifinals today.
The No. 1-seeded Hoosiers (27-5) take on No. 4 seed Wisconsin (21-11) at 1:40 p.m. today. The Badgers defeated IU 64-59 on Jan. 15 in Assembly Hall.
The winner between IU and Wisconsin will face either No. 2 seed Ohio State or No. 3 seed Michigan State in Sunday’s finals. The Buckeyes (24-7) and Spartans (25-7) play at 4 p.m. today.
Indiana, which defeated Illinois in the quarterfinals Friday to payback the Illini for a regular-season loss, will have no easy task taking out Wisconsin to reach the Big Ten tournament finals.
The Hoosiers have lost the last 11 games in the series with the Badgers. IU’s last win in the series was a 71-66 home victory Jan. 31, 2007.
But it’s not just history that is against the Hoosiers today. It is the Badgers’ style of play that gives IU trouble.
Indiana likes to have a free-flowing game in which it can use its offensive talent.
Wisconsin likes to keep the pace slow and methodical, even ugly at times.
The style clash is clear when looking at the Big Ten leaders.
Indiana leads the league in scoring with 80.8 points per game and is the conference’s most accurate team, shooting a Big Ten-high 49 percent.
Wisconsin is the Big Ten’s best defensive team, giving up 56.1 points per game, and is ranked no higher the sixth in any offensive category.
Expect a low-scoring game today, but the Hoosiers could come out on top as they pursue their first Big Ten tournament title ever and continue to chase the No. 1 overall seed for the NCAA tournament.
Prediction: Indiana 57, Wisconsin 52