Starting with Fort Wayne's coach's magnanimous comments in the post-game interview, people have been heaping praise on Tom Crean for having the guts to schedule this game. He didn't have to do this, they say. Good on him, they say, for taking this chance.
Before last night, Indiana had not played a non-conference road game—other than mandatory games in the B1G/ACC challenge — since playing at Evansville on November 16, 2011. That's over five years without a voluntarily scheduled road game. Five years: zero voluntary road games.
By comparison, Wisconsin played nine voluntary road games in that span:
12/13/2011 at Milwaukee
11/14/2012 at Florida
12/8/2012 at Marquette
11/15/2013 at Green Bay
12/6/2014 at Marquette
12/10/2014 at Milwaukee
12/22/2014 at Cal
11/29/2015 at Oklahoma
11/15/2016 at Creighton
The Badgers did it three times in a single year (2014), while Crean has now scheduled four, total, in his nine-years at Indiana: Fort Wayne, Evansville, and Kentucky in 2010 and 2008.
This is not bravery. To be fair, Crean has reason to be scared: he actually hasn't won a non-conference road game since beating NC State a couple weeks after that fateful night in Evansville in 2011:
Overall, Crean is 2-7 in non-conference road games at IU, and before last night his losses had been by 25, 18, 12, 19, 17, and 20 points.
For the record, Wisconsin is 9-8 in non-conference road games in that period, including six wins in the five years since Indiana's last win: