Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Wisconsin v. Indiana

This game has blowout written all over it. There is Wisconsin's ridiculous 10-game win streak that provides the extra bit of motivation for IU. There is Wisconsin riding high, ready to come crashing back to earth. There are the vulnerabilities at guard for Wisconsin, going up against a high-energy half-court defense that always gives Wisconsin fits. Indiana is just very skilled and very good at every position, and they have a high lottery pick to lean on.

Of course, you never know... If I were to chart out a Badger win, it would probably be that IU gets out to a big lead, like 15 points, and then lets off the gas. Their style of defense takes energy, so maybe they let up. And maybe they get lazy on offense—stop touching the post, settle for contested jumpers. Then, starting at about the 8 minute mark of the second half, Wisconsin makes a run and Indiana misses some shots and misses some free throws down the stretch, leaving the door open for a Sam Dekker three-pointer at the buzzer.

The problem is that at home teams get that extra energy boost that fuels them through the lulls, and they also tend to make more of their contested jumpers than usual (see, for example, the Marquette game this year).

I'll stick to my preseason prediction: IU by 10.