Jarmusz benched as Leuer's return to starting lineup sparks 32-point blowout
If the Big Ten Network wanted to start a new series called the "Big Ten's Weirdest Games" Thursday night's contest between Wisconsin and Indiana could be its series premiere.
Start with a lineup tweak, throw in a coach's ejection and end with a home crowd still cheering a team that is down 30-plus points and you have an instant classic.
Jon Leuer returned to the starting lineup and the Badgers jumped all over the Hoosiers in Bloomington, Ind, winning 78-46.
The pre-game story wasn't exactly about Leuer returning to the starting lineup, but rather about who he was replacing. Junior Tim Jarmusz, who had started all 27 games prior to Thursday night, came off the bench and only played 15 minutes, scoring five points. Sophomore guard Jordan Taylor, who had come off the bench before Leuer's wrist injury sidelined him for nine games, remained in the starting lineup and played 26 minutes.
Leuer continued to improve, scoring 13 points and pulling down seven rebounds in 26 minutes.
Jarmusz's move to the bench was a somewhat surprising move, given Bo Ryan's loyalty to his junior wingman, but it didn't remain the story of the night for long.
That honor went to Indiana head coach Tom Crean who was called for two technical fouls in a 30-second span during the second half and was ejected. With his team getting its brains beaten in, it's possible Crean just wanted to get home early.
But despite trailing by 26 after the second technical foul, the whole sequence events seemed to fire up the Hoosier crowd even more. And as the Badgers pushed their lead even higher, the crowd kept getting louder after every call. It's safe to say Crean is nowhere near the hot seat despite his team's nine-game losing streak. Hoosier Nation continues to back the former Marquette head coach.
Want more oddities? UW's 32-point win marked the program's largest margin of victory in a conference road game since it beat the University of Chicago by 34 points in 1942 (U of C used to be a Big Ten program). Want more? The win was UW's largest road victory over a Division I opponent since a 36-point win at Loyola-Marymount in 1993.
How about an individual oddity? (And I didn't even get this one sent to my inbox.) Jason Bohannon did not attempt a three-point shot Thursday night despite scoring 11 points on 3-of-4 shooting. The last time he did not attempt a three-pointer was Dec. 12, 2007 at UW-Milwaukee when we did not take a shot in 16 minutes of action.
Considering Bohannon hit 7-of-11 threes and blitzed the Hoosiers for 30 points Feb. 13, the fact he didn't shoot one Thursday is just bizarre. Maybe you can credit Indiana for making an adjustment on Bohannon, but you can't credit IU for much more. Wisconsin had five players score in double-digits, led by Trevon Hughes 17 points.
The Badgers now have five days before they host Iowa next Wednesday in their final home game of the season.