Continued from page 1

That wasn’t nearly good enough against a defense that turned this game into a possession-by-possession slog where baskets were scarce. Indiana struggled to adjust and missing shots certainly didn’t help.

“We just weren’t moving the ball like we should have, like we do, and I think when we see the film we’ll see that it’s not as much them as it was us,” Crean said. “I’m not taking anything away from them. They played well.”

In fact, the Badgers followed the script perfectly.

They committed just eight turnovers and took advantage of seemingly every opportunity they had, especially in the second half as Hoosiers fans moaned and groaned about everything from missed shots to errant passes.

Indiana opened the second half with a three-point play to extend its halftime lead to 35-31, but managed only six points over the next 6:34.

The drought opened the door for Wisconsin, which rallied with a 7-0 run to take a 38-37 lead. A few minutes later, the Badgers were off on a 9-0 spurt that ended when Mike Bruesewitz’s 3 beat the shot-clock buzzer to give Wisconsin a 47-39 lead.

“They bait you with their drives and kicks,” Crean said. “In the second half, they made shots and some of them reminded me of the Michael Jordan-Larry Bird McDonald’s commercial.”

Wisconsin led by as much as 51-41 before the Hoosiers finally cranked up the pressure.

Indiana scored four straight and after Evans made 1 of 2 free throws, the Hoosiers scored six straight to pull to 52-51 on Yogi Ferrell’s 3 with 4:40 to go.

But that was as Indiana got.

Ben Brust made a 17-foot jumper and the Badgers closed it out with a game-ending 12-8 run.

“It’s just what we normally do,” Ryan said. “We try to take away giving up easy baskets. I think everybody in the country says that, and then you’ve got to do it. Our guys have bought into that, especially tonight because Indiana is that good.”