Not only did the game put a bow on the regular season, but it also represented an opportunity for the Badgers to claim a share of the Big Ten regular season title, and potentially earn the No. 1 overall seed in the conference tournament.
On the road at Assembly Hall, the Badgers were able to scrap their way to a huge win over Indiana 60-56 to ensure at least a share of the Big Ten regular season championship.
After first five plus minutes, the two teams were all tied up at 11 thanks to a hot start by Nate Reuvers for the Badgers and Devonte Green for Indiana. The Hoosiers would continue their strong start with some stellar shooting to take a seven point lead into the second media timeout, as the Badgers endured a scoring drought.
Wisconsin would regain their footing, and settle back in to draw the scorer closer as the first half wound down by playing better defense. The Badgers would claw back to cut the deficit to only three points at the half, as both Nate Reuvers and Micah Potter were tough inside against the length of Indiana. Both teams finished on large scoring droughts to conclude the first half, in a scrappy game.
Haftime. Indiana up 28-25.— Bucky’s 5th Quarter (@B5Q) March 7, 2020
Aleem Ford with 9 points, Nate Reuvers with 8pts 4 reb, Micah Potter with 5 pts + 5 boards.
Need to do a better job on Devonte Green in the 2H.
To open the second half, neither team could get anything going for the first three minutes. But then, Wisconsin started to settle in and began chipping away at the small lead that Indiana had established to tie the game back up.
The Hoosiers would respond though with a quick run to return the lead to five points, as the Badgers struggled to rebound against the size of Indiana after Micah Potter went to the bench with his third foul.
Just as things were looking bad for the Badgers, they stormed back to tie the game up with five minutes remaining.
Wisconsin would continue to roll down the stretch, as Micah Potter revitalized the team when he got back into the game. The Badgers would go on to win by four points over the Hoosiers to get their eighth straight win.
Gritty not pretty.— Bucky’s 5th Quarter (@B5Q) March 7, 2020
Wisconsin takes down Indiana 60-56 for their 8th straight win to secure a share of the B1G regular season title.
What a difference a month can make! #Badgers
Notable stat lines:
- Aleem Ford—> 12 points (4-of-8 from the floor), four rebounds, one assist
- Nate Reuvers —> 17 points (7-of-14 from the floor), seven rebounds, two assists
- Micah Potter —> 14 points (5-of-8 from the floor), 11 rebounds
- Devonte Green (Indiana)—> 16 points (6-of-17 from the floor), four rebounds
Three things that stood out:
No. 1: Boom or bust
The Badgers were heavily reliant on the three-point shot in the first half against Indiana. The Badgers took 13 of their 24 total shots from deep, making 46% of them in the first 20 minutes. Outside of the positive three-point shooting though, the Wisconsin struggled from the field, making only three shots from inside the arc, and six turnovers.
In the second half, the Badgers had multiple extended scoring droughts that haunted them. The hot three-point shooting was still there, but so were the inefficiencies and turnovers. For the game the Badgers finished shooting 42% from the field with 10 turnovers, but were able to do just enough to take home the W.
No. 2: Uneven play
In the first half, the vast majority of the scoring came from the frontcourt play of Potter, Reuvers, Ford. The trio combined for 22 of the 25 points, as the guards were unable to get anything going offensively.
Additionally, the front court held their own against the length of the Indiana roster in the paint thanks to some great play by Micah Potter and Nate Reuvers in the post and on the glass. On the flipside, guard Devonte Green was able to do as he wished for large chunks of the game, scoring a team high _____ points against the Wisconsin backcourt.
In the second half, the frontcourt of Indiana was able to flip the script. The Hoosiers absolutely killed the Badgers on the glass, grabbing nine second half offensive rebounds, and scored 16 of their 28 points in the second stanza from inside the paint.
However, when the Badgers needed some clutch shots in the final minutes, Brad Davison and D’Mitrik Trice answer the call. The game ebbed and flowed all day long, but through all the adversity, the Badgers fought to get the win.
No. 3: B1G TITLE!!!
Through all that the Badger basketball team has been through this year, they battled, and were able to win at least a share of the Big Ten regular season title for the first time since 2015.
Wisconsin must now wait out the final games on the schedule Sunday from their Big Ten counterparts to officially see where the dust settles, but what a crazy year for the Badgers.
Over the final month of the season, the Badgers finished by winning eight straight games, and rose from the middle of conference heap all the way to the top.
Up next: The Badgers will have a nice break from the hardwood with the Big Ten Tournament upcoming. Wisconsin will play on Friday, March 13. The exact time of tip, and the opponent, will be determined Sunday night after all of the conference action is complete.