No. 22 Wisconsin knocks off No. 3 Indiana, 68-56, in Big 10 Tournament semis
CHICAGO – Ryan Evans scored 16 points to help No. 22 Wisconsin upset No. 3 Indiana 68-56 in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament Saturday.
The Badgers allowed only seven points after the top-seeded Hoosiers pulled within one with 9:45 left. They earned their 12th consecutive win against Indiana, tying a record for any school against the powerhouse program, and will play Ohio State or Michigan State in Sunday's final.
Ben Brust added 12 points for Wisconsin (23-10), which has won three straight and six of eight. Sam Dekker scored nine of his 11 points in the second half, including seven in a row during one impressive burst.
Christian Watford scored 14 points for Indiana (27-6), and Cody Zeller had 13 points and 11 rebounds. Victor Oladipo scored 10, but was 4 for 12 from the field.
The Hoosiers, who won the regular-season conference title, now have to wait until Selection Sunday to see if they did enough to earn a coveted No. 1 seeds.
Zeller and Oladipo each made a couple of big plays when Wisconsin tried to pull away in the second half. Zeller scored the first five points in a 10-0 run that gave the Hoosiers a 41-40 lead with 13:27 remaining. Oladipo soared in for a big offensive rebound and made a pull-up jumper during a quick six-point burst that got Indiana within one with 9:45 left.
The Badgers then ripped off eight of the next 10 points to open a 58-51 lead. Evans had a layup, Brust went 1 for 2 at the line, Jared Berggren made a big 3-pointer and Dekker dunked inside off a nice pass from Jackson.
That was enough to put away the Hoosiers, who managed just two field goals in the final 5:02. Watford also hurt Indiana's chances when he missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 2:15 to go and the Badgers up by five.
Berggren also had 11 points for Wisconsin, which joins Purdue as the only schools with 12 straight victories against Indiana. The Boilermakers put together their run from Feb. 26, 1908, to Feb. 9, 1914.
The Badgers shot 51 percent, compared to 38.2 percent for Indiana, and controlled the glass with a 35-30 advantage in rebounding.
With open looks hard to come by on each side of the court, the Hoosiers and Badgers turned to the 3-pointer in the first half to try to make some room for their big men inside.
Watford and Remy Abell made 3-pointers on consecutive Indiana possessions to help the Hoosiers open a 20-14 lead with 9:04 remaining. Wisconsin responded with a 12-2 spurt that included 3s from Brust and Mike Bruesewitz.
Watford made another 3 with 41 seconds left, cutting the Badgers' lead to 34-31 at the break. Indiana was 4 for 8 from long range in the first half, while Wisconsin was 4 for 10 while shooting 51.7 percent (15 for 29) overall.