Wilson’s career game sinks Hoosiers, 79-71

INDIANAPOLIS — Tom Crean and his players confirmed after Friday’s game that yes, they in fact had heard about Rob Wilson and they did know he was a capable outside shooter.

But no, they didn’t know that the Wisconsin senior guard was capable of this.

Wilson was averaging just 3.1 points per game this season and had scored in double figures just once, with 11 points against Iowa on Feb. 23. He scored 36 points all of last season, during which he was hampered with a hamstring injury.

But on Friday against Indiana in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament he scored 30 points, knocking down 11 of 16 field goals and seven of his 10 3-pointers to lead Wisconsin to a 79-71 victory over the Hoosiers and into Saturday’s semifinals against Michigan State.

“Rob Wilson was fully accounted for in the way that we prepared,” Crean said. “It just didn’t look that way today and he got really, really hot and we didn’t do a great job of taking him away. Some of the 3’s he earned them and others he made because he was open because we overhelped on the ball.”

In the second half, it seemed that every shot he made was a tide-turner. The Hoosiers had fallen behind by 11 points in the first half and stormed back in the second, but every time they were on the precipice of taking the lead, Wilson came through with a huge shot.

The Hoosiers cut it to 42-41 with 15:40 to go and Wilson hit back-to-back 3’s to make it a seven-point lead again. The Hoosiers cut it to 48-47, then Wilson made another 3. Indiana fell behind 59-50, then cut the deficit to 61-58, but Wilson hit another jumper to make it a two-possession game again.

And fittingly, he hit the dagger as well. With the Hoosiers clinging to life, down 69-65 in the final minute, Wilson hit a 3-pointer with 35 seconds to go to give Wisconsin a seven-point lead and effectively crush the Hoosiers’ hopes.

“Every time we were close to getting momentum going back our way, they made a big play,” Crean said. “And it was usually Rob Wilson making that play.”

Wilson was one of several Badgers who were feeling it from beyond the 3-point arc. Wisconsin hit 13 of 26 3-pointers on the night. Junior forward Jared Berggren had 16 points and nine rebounds. Forward Ryan Evans had 12 points and junior guard Jordan Taylor finished with 12 points, even though he shot just 3-for-12.

Indiana got 17 points each from junior point guard Jordan Hulls, junior forward Christian Watford and freshman forward Cody Zeller. Watford also grabbed 10 rebounds for his third double-double in four games.

Sophomore guard Victor Oladipo had seven points on 2-for-12 shooting, however, and the Hoosiers could never quite overcome Wilson’s shooting.

AUDIO: Bo Ryan, Jordan Taylor, Rob Wilson, Jared Berggren

AUDIO: More Bo Ryan

AUDIO: Tom Crean, Cody Zeller, Jordan Hulls, Christian Watford


  1. Zeller needs to get much tougher. We lost the game due to turnovers and rebounding. Wisky had a kid go banannas but without the to’s, we can win.

  2. My only hope for the tourney was for IU to make it to saturday so I could watch them. I guess it was a pipe dream In 14 years of the tourney we have made Saturday 2 times. That is just flat out pathetic. Now I know why knight did not want the big ten tourney!!!

  3. Not to take anything away from Wisconsin, but the officiating was horrendous in this game, e.g. really, a charge on Derrek Elson when the defenders foot was clearly on the no charge line (lead to a potential 4 point swing when UW was only leading by 3)!

  4. The ref’s were bad. That being said.
    The Badgers were a match-up nightmare. WAY BIGGER!
    When IU was in zone, I’d see Hulls and Roth trying to guard Wilson. Victor should have been on him all day. No way he would have had that kind of game.
    Another thing that surprised me was how much Z sat.
    Wisconson D was way too good. They shut the 3 down. Just to much size for us to handle.

  5. IU played pretty good. Wisconsin played just a bit better. Wisconsin had a sub who went nuts and hit 7 out of 10 3-pointers. Some of those shots were wide-open some were highly contested. Still proud of this team. 25-8 and on their way to the Big Dance.

  6. Ummmmm, I think they lost this game because they allowed a shooter to hit 11-16 3 pters!!! Sure, you could find other factors but Wilson was simply a dagger with poison on it. How many 3’s did he or the team hit when IU had just gotten the deficit back to 1???

  7. Besides enjoying great fortune scoring 3’s yesterday, the Badgers had twice the # of assists and half the # of turnovers. If you play 1/2 court offense with only 5 TO’s you are going to be in position for a W.

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