Indiana 71, Wisconsin 66

The intern here. As most of you know by now, the Hoosiers held on to beat the Badgers 71-66. After the game the IU fans stormed the floor and the entire state of Indiana celebrated on Branch McCracken Court.

Or at least it sounded like it.

I’ve lived in Bloomington my entire life, and let me tell you that was the loudest Assembly Hall has ever been.
Earlier in the second half, I thought it was the loudest the stadium had ever been, but when it was apparent the Hoosiers were going to win in the closing seconds the decible level sky rocketed.

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Let the kids on the court. This is a big win and a memorable night in their college careers.

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3:38, second half: Indiana 64,Wisconsin 59

The Badgers had climbed all the way back to tie it before two baskets by A.J. Ratliff. First he caught a pass and hit a quick 3-pointer, then he faked a shot and drove the lane for an easy lay in.

But just a few seconds ago he fouled Alando Tucker, who will now go to the line. Ratliff has four fouls now.

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6:35, second half: Indiana 55, Wisconsin 41

As Doug pointed out, this is a veteran Wisconsin team. Very savvy.

But I don’t know if they’re really doing the work during this comeback. Indiana hasn’t been very tough on defense.

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8:41, second half: Indiana 53, Wisconsin 47

Way too many easy baskets for the Badgers over the last minute or two.
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11:18, second half: Indiana 48, Wisconsin 40

Tucker can expect to get mugged the rest of the way. Indiana’s been in a 2-3 zone most of the way and will probably stay in it to be able to collapse on Tucker.

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11:39, second half: Indiana 48, Wisconsin 40

Steady 8-point run for Indiana featuring lots of guys making plays. How about Mike White drawing the foul on that rebound. Pure hustle.

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13:55, second half: Indiana 40, Wisconsin 40

Indiana is so good off restarts. A.J. Ratliff took that short inbounds pass and went right up for the 3-pointer. It was clearly a shot he has practiced many, many times.

Stemler’s out with four fouls. It’s up to Mike White, now.

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15:45, second half: Wisconsin 38, Indiana 35

D.J. White already has more points this half (7) than he did in the first half (6). He’s making it about 75 percent of the time he gets the ball down low this half.

But Wisconsin is making so many veteran plays. The Badgers just find ways to score.

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I’ll tell you what: I’ve never much believed in “winning formulas.” It’s a terrible cliche that doesn’t make much sense.

But losing formulas? Oh, they’re real. Take, for instance, this stat: Indiana is 2-for-12 from 3-point. This team won’t win doing that.

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Half: Wisconsin 28, Indiana 26

Poor defense by Calloway, which you don’t see often. He left his feet way too early on a play where the Badgers were clearly going to wait for a shot, since the clock was running down.

Back in a few with stats.

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48.7, first half: Indiana 26, Wisconsin 26

Tucker is just so cerebral. He’s just right there. He had no business getting that rebound or hitting that shot with his left hand.

But he did anyway.

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3:05, first half: Indiana 22, Wisconsin 21

Bo Ryan is clearly trying to take advantage of his depth and Indiana’s relative lack thereof. He’s running a lot of guys out there and trying to keep the whole team fresh.

Will Sampson’s vaunted off-season workouts be enough to keep the Hoosiers from getting tired?

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7:28, first half: Indiana 15, Wisconsin 13

Good news: A.J. Ratliff has a little extra jump today. He just chased down a defensive rebound and kept right on sprinting down the floor, finishing with a soft touch at the rim. He also drove the lane and dished off to D.J. White for the basket that tied it.

Bad news: Armon Bassett has three fouls. So Ratliff will have to play more minutes than he has recently. That will surely test his wrist.

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11:18, first half: Wisconsin 11, Indiana 7

The low score does not reflect the actual pace of the game. Very high energy. Neither team really has its offense working right now.

But, it’s like Kelvin Sampson said in his press conference yesterday: Wisconsin always has the best player on the floor. Alando Tucker just has a way of being there and of hitting the shots.

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Doug said he’d be leaving comments on the blog today, so be sure to check those out.

Now that he’s the columnist, he only brings his ‘A’ game for the top games. I guess when the No. 2 team in the country is here that qualifies.

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15:48, first half: Wisconsin 6, Indiana 4

The 3s aren’t falling for Indiana but are for Wiscons. Tucker and Taylor have both hit to take this early lead.

D.J. White has twice hit from the right side of the basket, each time going up and over Jason Chappell. As a result, Chappell is now out of the game and Wisconsin is denying White touches.

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Good atmosphere here as the lineups are announced.

Alando Tucker is doing this strange sort of dance, where’s he’s hoping around. He’s a pretty good dancer.

You know who’s starting for the Hoosiers, but let’s dish it anyway: Calloway, Bassett, Wilmont, Stemler and D.J. White.

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Six minutes until tipoff. The student section closest to the floor appears to be filing up more quickly than usual, and most are clad in white. A few are wearing red and looking like complete fools. Or individual thinkers. Depend on which philosophy course you went to today and what you choose to believe.

Football recruit Jerimy Finch is here somewhere. Football coach Terry Hoeppener — here and wearing a trendy tan blazer — is hoping Finch sticks with the Hoosiers and doesn’t bolt for the national champion Florida Gators.

14 comments

  1. This is a really good crowd here tonight. The students actually got here on time and it was loud in Assembly Hall when Rod Wilmont hit a 3-pointer to give Indiana its first lead at 7-6.

    Right away, though, Alando Tucker showed what a player he is, nailing a tough fadeaway jumper on the baseline as the shot clock ran out to retake the lead at 8-7 right away.

  2. The “old people” weren’t standing for Alando Tucker’s free throws, so they just got there first “Stand up old people” chant of the night. That prompted many of them to quickly stand up. Maybe they’ll get that down by the end of the season.

  3. Jerimy Finch is here sitting between James Hardy and Terry Hoeppner.

    Victor Adeynanju is also here sitting courtside with football team surgeon Greg Fox, who is another former Hoosier player.

  4. Oh yeah, Finch is wearing an Indiana basketball t-shirt for those who care about that sort of thing.

    Now back to basketball.

  5. It’s the loudest its been in here this year. With Ratliff’s 3 to tie the game at 40 and DJ blocking Tucker to preserve that tie, the last minute has been raucous. With 13:55 left, this looks like a fight that will go right to the end before it’s decided.

  6. The students were literally jumping up and down after D.J. dunked over two Badgers and hit a free throw to give IU a 43-40 lead. The Hoosier bench went absolutely nuts as White made the dunk.

  7. The Indiana players and fans are sensing an upset over the No. 2 team in the country with an eight-point lead with 11:18 left.

    In the eyes of many fans, this would be the biggest win for the Hoosiers basketball program since the 2002 tournament run because it would be the strongest indicator yet that Indiana basketball is back under first-year coach Kelvin Sampson.

    The danger is that Wisconsin has a smart, veteran team that’s shown it knows how to win the close, tough games.

  8. Turning point is the no-call on the DJ White layup. Wisconsin scores 8 straight after that. On TV you could see that While was slugged in the head and hit on the body. Ref was looking right at it.

  9. Marc, that was a huge play. Could have been a 12-point IU lead, but instead Wisconsin scored on the other end, starting a quick run. From where I sit behind the opposite basket, it looked like a foul, but I couldn’t see it as well as you could on TV.

  10. It is bedlam here with a 70-66 IU lead with 47 seconds left. If the Hoosiers hold onto this one, the students will be looking for a wild celebration on the court. The ushers and police are lining up to try to stop them, but they are far outnumbered.

  11. IU basketball is now back! I haven’t seen that kind
    of enthusiasm in years. The crowd was a huge factor
    in this game. Way to go, everyone!
    GO HOOSIERS!

  12. Thanks for the great commentary, Doug. IU’s back in business, and the future looks great. I’m going to buy Kelvin a cold beer one of these days. He’s earned it.

  13. Well, we didn’t win by 10 as I had predicted but it was still a solid win against a good team. Not many people gave the Hoosiers a chance even though the betting line was 1 to 1.5 points in Wisconsin’s favor.

    Now we have some tough road games…

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