BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- Devin Harris and the Wisconsin defense
provided a fitting finish to Indiana's miserable regular season.
Another anguishing loss.
Harris scored 26 points, including 16 in the game's first 13
minutes, and Wisconsin's defense completely shut down Indiana's
offense as the Badgers (No. 14 ESPN/USA Today, No. 17 AP) pulled away for a 70-52 win Saturday.
"I got some open looks, I even got one to go off the
backboard," Harris said with a smile.
Wisconsin's victory put it in position to claim a share of its
third straight Big Ten title.
The Badgers (21-6, 12-4) have now won two straight at Assembly
Hall since snapping a 22-game losing streak in Bloomington but
still need No. 18 Illinois to lose Sunday at Ohio State to tie for
the Big Ten crown.
"There's nothing else we can do right now on the league race,"
coach Bo Ryan said. "We've got a little viewing session tomorrow
with Ohio State and Illinois. Watch that game, I guess."
For the Hoosiers (13-14, 7-9) it was another lesson in futility.
Indiana shot just 34.5 percent from the field and was just 6-of-23
from 3-point range.
Coach Mike Davis showed his frustration by once going
face-to-face with official Phil Bova and the agony of a trying
season was revealed in A.J. Moye's tears when he left the game with
about a minute left.
Moye led the Hoosiers with 11 points and nine rebounds in his
final regular-season home game. George Leach, also a senior, added
The result also was humbling -- a fourth straight loss to
Wisconsin and a seventh loss this season at Assembly Hall.
Indiana hadn't lost that many home games since 1984-85, the last
time it missed the NCAA tournament, and will need at least two wins
at next week's Big Ten tournament just to qualify for the NIT.
The Hoosiers haven't missed the postseason since 1976-77. They
also hadn't lost a regular-season home finale since 1998 when then
coach Bob Knight drew three technical fouls.
"I wish we could have given you something better, but we've got
a lot left, we've got the tournament," Moye told the fans
On Saturday, the Badgers had everything working.
Harris dominated the first half by hitting four 3-pointers and
then cutting in for a couple of lay-ups. When he wasn't scoring,
his teammates were.
Mike Wilkinson added 13 points and six assists and backup Zach
Morley finished with 11 points and eight rebounds.
But the difference in the game was defense.
Indiana could not get good shots and Wisconsin's patience never
gave the Hoosiers a chance.
"We ain't the three stooges, but that's what it looked like out
there," Indiana coach Mike Davis said. "How can you explain it?"
Harris, for one.
He got started Wisconsin started, breaking a 12-12 tie with his
third 3-pointer just nine minutes into the game.
The Badgers took advantage, cruising to a 33-18 halftime lead.
"If he's on, we're a totally different team because they can't
guard anyone," Wilkinson said.
Things got worse quickly in the second half.
Wisconsin built a 42-34 lead with 15:34 to go and only had to
contend with one Hoosiers' charge. Marshall Strickland hit
back-to-back 3-pointers and Ryan Tapak followed that with a
fadeaway 3 to make it 49-40 with 7:35 left.
The Badgers answered with Morley's three-point play and Harris'
layup to re-establish a 60-44 lead and put the game away.
"We ran our offense to perfection, we got lay-ups, we got
fouls," Harris said. "It's just very satisfying knowing we're
learning from our mistakes."