Three-point attempts from Traevon Jackson and Ben Brust didn't fall in the final seconds, enabling the Hoosiers to hang on for the 75-72 win. Yogi Ferrell led the way with 25 points. Jackson paced the Badgers with 21 points.
Wisconsin had won its first 16 games of the season, while Indiana had lost two of three and was just 11-5 entering Tuesday. Going back even further (to the Kelvin Sampson era), the Hoosiers had lost 12 in a row to Wisconsin -- and head coach Tom Crean was 0-10 against Bo Ryan during his career at Indiana.
With Wisconsin falling, only three unbeaten teams remain: Arizona, Syracuse and Wichita State.
This is obviously more important for Indiana than it is for Wisconsin. The Badgers were not going to go undefeated the entire season, and this doesn't exactly expose too many negatives. Five players still scored in double-figures for Wisconsin, although Sam Dekker only going 4 for 10 was disappointing. The future first-round pick could be the type of talent to carry the Badgers to wins over quality teams going forward. However, it was the third game in a row Wisconsin has allowed at least 70 points -- which we're not used to seeing from Ryan-coached teams.
For Indiana, though, it's a huge victory. The Hoosiers had not done much up to this point in the season, with a 1-2 Big Ten record and the best wins coming over Washington, Stony Brook and Penn State. That doesn't exactly scream "at-large resume." Moreover, the Hoosiers were blitzed by Michigan State in their last attempt at a marquee win; simply put, Indiana didn't look like an NCAA tournament team. Tuesday's win over Wisconsin could be a momentum-starter, though. There's a home game against Northwestern next, and then a road trip to East Lansing for a rematch with the Spartans. I don't expect Indiana to win there, but looking competitive and not taking a step back is going to be important.
Ferrell has proven himself as one of the more dynamic point guards in the Big Ten, and Noah Vonleh held his own in the paint despite scoring only 10 points. Complementary players like Stanford Robinson (13 points) and Evan Gordon (eight points) were also important.
Moreover, it looks like Indiana is improving in certain aspects. The Hoosiers were one of the most careless teams in the country, ranking No. 325 in turnover percentage heading into Tuesday. They only turned it over nine times against the Badgers. Moreover, they showed an ability to score in the half-court, constantly getting to the rim off the dribble. Defensively, they forced Wisconsin into shooting just 30.4 percent from behind the arc. The Badgers were one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country, making nearly 40 percent of their outside attempts.
This isn't the end of the world for Wisconsin, although it makes the top four of the Big Ten even closer -- and the win is more important for Indiana. Tuesday could be a season-changer for the Hoosiers.