Sam Dekker had 16 points and seven rebounds as the Wisconsin Badgers defeated the Indiana Hoosiers 69-58 on Tuesday night in Madison. The now 15-12 and 5-9 (Big Ten Conference) Hoosiers held a 10-point lead after the first 20 minutes, but they were unable to sustain their solid start. The Badgers hung a 50 spot on IU in the second half, and all five Wisconsin starters finished the game scoring in double-digits.
For the Hoosiers, this game provided more of the same story we’ve heard all season. Yogi Ferrell and Noah Vonleh were pretty much the only two players who did anything of significance while the rest of the team was essentially nonexistent. Ferrell and Vonleh accounted for 42 of Indiana’s 58 points. And using my incredible math skills, I was able to determine that that is 72 percent of the entire Hoosier offense. For the nine other players that Tom Crean sent into this game, well, they scored a combined total of 16 points.
Indiana is simply not an NCAA Tournament caliber team. The Hoosiers do possess two very nice home wins at Assembly Hall over these same Badgers and Michigan. But outside of that, their resume is quite frankly, putrid. Entering tonight’s game, Crean’s bunch had an RPI of 96 and their strength of schedule (SOS) was ranked as the 97th toughest in all of college basketball. Not exactly the type of numbers you want the selection committee to see.
While this season seems all but lost, IU does still have four more games remaining in its regular season slate, three of which are at home. Three of the final four contests are also against ranked opponents, so opportunities do still exist.
With that said, Hoosier faithful, please don’t get your hopes up. Because if you do, you’ll end up extremely disappointed. The only postseason basketball for Indiana this year will be in — as Badger fans chanted towards the end of the game — the “NIT, NIT, NIT!”
Time to hit the recruiting trail hard, Mr. Crean.
Matthew Sturgeon is a College Basketball Writer for RantSports.com. You can follow him on Twitter @OfficialSturg27