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No. 3 Indiana falls to No. 22 Wisconsin in Big Ten semifinals

Mar 16, 2013, 4:08 PM EDT

Yogi Ferrell AP

No. 3 Indiana is solidly at the top of the list of elite teams in the country, but after its 68-56 loss to No. 22 Wisconsin Saturday afternoon in the Big Ten semifinals, is it still a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament? If they’re not, the Badgers’ 12 straight wins over Indiana will be a thorn in the Hoosiers’ side.

But the answer is likely “yes.” Perhaps we should focus on the bigger question, which is will the Hoosiers be the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament? Indiana is a perfect 18-0 against teams not in the RPI Top 50, an unblemished mark rivaled only at the top by Gonzaga. They also have the benefit of being ninth in strength of schedule.

We may have a better feel after Saturday night when a Big East tournament champion is crowned. If Louisville beats Syracuse, it could be in the conversation as well with just one loss against teams outside the RPI Top 50. The Cardinals would also be riding into Selection Sunday on a 10-game winning streak.

There are some concerns going forward for Indiana, though. Wisconsin is a team that is comfortable with grinding a team down to a halt, slowing the pace, and forcing offenses into half-court sets. Saturday, it didn’t look like Indiana was comfortable doing that. Cody Zeller was 4-of-10 from the floor for 13 points and added 11 rebounds, but there was still a good deal of room for improvement as far as getting him more involved.

Victor Oladipo shot an uncharacteristic 33 percent from the floor and turned the ball over four times, though he had four steals, seven rebounds, and three assists. Oladipo has proven to be the engine and not necessarily the complement to Indiana’s offense.

This NCAA tournament will likely come down to matchups. With so much parity between the middle of Division I and higher majors, Indiana will need to watch out for teams that can emulate the sorts of things that Wisconsin can do. They’ll need to be patient in the half-court, get Zeller, Oladipo, and Christian Watford involved, and find lineups that prevent big scoring runs by the opposition.

The Hoosiers are elite, that’s for sure, but are they elite enough to be the overall No. 1? We will know Sunday.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

  1. zurnvs - Mar 16, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    They do not deserve a #1 seed. Their last five games has shown that they are not a one seed at all.

    • gbwoolman - Mar 16, 2013 at 4:46 PM

      Let’s look at the remaining teams you could say Louisville mighty age a chance should they win heir conference but IU winning the Big Ten season outright and doing this in what I’d consider the top conference is impressive!

      • gbwoolman - Mar 16, 2013 at 4:48 PM

        “might have” is what I wrote… gotta love spell check

  2. gbwoolman - Mar 16, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    They should be a #1 seed NO DOUBT!

    • indyshepherd - Mar 16, 2013 at 5:20 PM

      I just hope that Syracuse can pull off a miracle against Louisville later tonight. If Louisville wins tonight, then IU may have lost its grip on the Midwest regional.

  3. jpopejoy - Mar 16, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    Nice attempt to make conversation. They are a #1 seed in the Midwest and likely overall 2nd #1 seed.

  4. jpopejoy - Mar 16, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    Let me guess…zurnvs roots for Michigan or MSU or sadly, Purdue. It’s not even close dude. 6-0 vs top 10 and 3-0 vs top 10 on the road. Oh and they won the toughest conference in the country. End. Of. Story.

  5. indyshepherd - Mar 16, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    The caption says, ” Indiana may have lost its grip on the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tourney after being upset by Wisconsin…”

    It’s hardly an upset, nor should it surprise anyone that Wisconsin beat Indiana again for the 12th straight time. IU knew they were going to lose the game even before it started. It was a typical IU loss in the B1G tournament, especially when they’ve only made the finals once in its 16-year history.

    But at least now, they can rest their players, right … it’s always worked so well for the Colts.

  6. indyshepherd - Mar 16, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    Wisconsin completely took Indiana out if its offense. It was actually pretty impressive for Wisconsin, as they just hit more tough shots today.

    IU needs to stop the ridiculous passing into these air-tight lanes. It’s maddening every time when either (Victor or Yogi) turns the ball over while trying to dish it off to Zeller in the paint, through a passing lane the size of a grapefruit. Just pull-up and shoot!

  7. snark539 - Mar 16, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Crean is horrible on his substitution rotation. Someone tell the starting 5 to tell Crean that it is the end of the season and they will play the entire 40 minutes if they need to. He kills the momentum with his untimely substitutions

  8. jpopejoy - Mar 16, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    He’ll play starters much more as tourney progresses. Likely starting sweet 16…

    If Louisville gets iu’s one in Midwest it’s a crime. Not gonna happen…outright champ of the toughest conference BY FAR is gonna get that spot. Not including the undefeated record vs top 10s and only team to beat osu, msu, and Michigan at their place

  9. frezfram - Mar 16, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    If Indiana is so elite… how come they keep losing to Wisconsin? Some of these writers drink too much of their own Koolaid. They can’t accept that their team is not as good as they believe and write them up to be.

  10. lawdigger - Mar 16, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    Wisconsin swept both Michigan and Indiana this season (regular season and tournament) but IU is talked as one seed and ranked in top five and Michigan ranked top 10 and 3 seed? What’s wrong with this picture?

  11. jpopejoy - Mar 16, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    IU had lost 12 straight games to Wisconsin. Badgers play an ugly brand of basketball IU struggles with. They still won big10 outright in the best year of the big10 in 20 years. They also went 6-0 vs top 10 (not including gtown win on a neutral court). Also 3-0 vs top 10 on the road. That’s why they are a 1 seed. Best overall resume in the country. Quit hating. Get used to looking up to IU again

  12. ultichiva - Mar 16, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    No respect foe da Wess Coass!?!
    If New Mexico or UCLA win their respective CONf tourney then 1 of those 2 scools should get a #1 seed.

    • teachnu2bucky - Mar 16, 2013 at 7:38 PM

      I think I just lost all respect for the West Coast after reading your comment.

  13. zurnvs - Mar 16, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    I’m not ur dude. GO BUCKS

  14. badgerbuck - Mar 16, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    Indiana will not make it to the elite eight

  15. jpopejoy - Mar 16, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    Badger…you see IU at their worst (vs badgers…and credit to them) and are blinded bc the style of play Wisconsin plays prevents ANY opportunity of a national title. IU will make the elite 8 playing the game in Indy.

  16. bordner - Mar 16, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    IU will be the first 1 seed casualty of the tournament. They are grossly overrated and will unfortunately embarrass the B1G.

  17. zurnvs - Mar 17, 2013 at 6:43 AM

    Indiana is 3-3 in the last 6 games. I give the credit they did win the best conference this year. However; they didn’t play well at Michigan, but did win. As a fan if that team, you can’t feel confident about how you are playing right now. You may get a #1 seed, but how are you going to feel when if you exit early. Your team is not peaking right now and you know it. Not a Michigan, Michigan St or Purdue fan. Will beat Whisky for u. GO BUCKS

  18. jpopejoy - Mar 17, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    I hear what you’re saying, but IU struggles against really physical teams (Minnesota, osu, Wisconsin, butler…). Turns out they had to play 3 of them all in a short span. Also the big10 allows way for physical play than NCAA tourney does. They’ll go back to scoring 80+ once the tourney starts. They have ZERO bad losses (all losses to top50), and have been in every game they’ve played. They are the only team in the country that can say that.

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