When the Wisconsin Badgers travel to Bloomington to take on the Indiana Hoosiers this Thursday, they'll be looking for a sweep. Wisconsin hasn't lost to Indiana in Bloomington since the 2006-07 season. Since the Kelvin Sampson era, in other words.
Indiana is tied for last in the Big Ten, having lost 13 Big Ten games this year and 6 in a row overall. The Hoosiers would need wins in their last two games to avoid the Big Ten cellar entirely (having suffered a sweep at the hands of Iowa, now 3-14 in Big Ten play). And given the way the Hoosiers have played, along with their competition in the final games on their schedule (top ten Wisconsin and Purdue games), that's not too likely.
Wisconsin is not going to win the Big Ten regular season title, not with Ohio State's 15-2 conference record. But they can't look forward to this weekend. Bo Ryan's Badgers will be focused solely on their obstacle in Bloomington.
Wisconsin has gotten an incredible amount of consistency from Senior Jon Leuer, who has eclipsed double-figures scoring in every single game this year, and averaged 19.3 points per game. The reliable Jordan Taylor, one of the best PGs in the nation, averages 17.8 points per game and a team-best 5.0 assists per game. Keaton Nankivil finally pushed his scoring average per game to double digits (10.1 per game), and has eclipsed double-figures scoring in each of his last three games. The Badgers are the best free throw shooting team in the nation, connecting on 82.6% of their attempts from the line.
Contrast that to Indiana. The Hoosiers have three players who average double-figures scoring per game: Christian Watford (16.5), Verdell Jones III (12.6), and Jordan Hulls (11.2). Maurice Creek and Victor Oladipo average 8.3 and 7.6 points per game, respectively. But the issue is turnovers; IU's leading scorers (Jones and Watford) combine to average 5.1 turnovers per game, compared to just 4.5 assists per game. Indiana's leading rebounder is Christian Watford, who gathers 5.6 per game.
Wisconsin will likely win their 3rd straight game in Bloomington. But the Hoosiers likely come out firing as they did in Madison, and the Badgers will need everything they can get offensively to pull out their 13th conference win of the year. This is the same building that once-ranked Illinois and Minnesota fell down in. The Badgers must be wary of the trap before their game against #1 Ohio State this weekend.