Indiana Has to be Happy to See Bo Ryan Retire


On Tuesday night, longtime Wisconsin men’s basketball coach Bo Ryan surprised the nation by announcing that he was retiring, effective immediately. This move presumably comes so Ryan’s longtime assistant, Greg Gard, gets a fair chance at the job (This is not unlike what Jim Calhoun did when he retired at Connecticut. His assistant, Kevin Ollie, won the NCAA title that year). In his time in Madison, Ryan owned the Hoosiers. He finishes with an 19-4 record against Indiana, including zero defeats at home.

In honor of the Badger headmaster, let’s take a look at the four best games between Wisconsin and Indiana during Ryan’s tenure, in chronological order.

March 1, 2005: #23 Wisconsin 62, Indiana 60

The closest game in this series under Ryan was ended when Alando Tucker hit a putback at the buzzer, thwarting a furious Hoosier rally. It’s interesting to note that this win made the 2005 senior class the winningest in Wisconsin history (at the time) with 87 career wins. One of those seniors, Mike Wilkinson, dominated the Hoosiers to the tune of 28 points and nine rebounds. Of these four games, this was the only one that took place in Madison.

January 31, 2007: #25 Indiana 71, #2 Wisconsin 66

This was arguably the biggest win of Kelvin Sampson’s brief Indiana stop, and was the biggest upset for the Hoosiers since beating Duke in the 2002 Sweet 16. Wisconsin came into Bloomington riding a 17-game win streak, but AJ Ratliff and DJ White combined for 36 points and shut down Tucker down the stretch.

January 15, 2013: Wisconsin 64, #2 Indiana 59

This may be as fundamentally sound as a Wisconsin team has ever played under Bo Ryan. Some of the stars of future Final Four teams started to shine in this game. A young Frank Kaminsky hit two three-pointers in just three minutes before getting scratched in the eye, and Sam Dekker also came off the bench to score 10 points. But this was vintage Bo Ryan basketball–Wisconsin worked the clock down to under five seconds every possession, and got a basket every time it seemed like Cody Zeller and Indiana were about to get back into the game. I wish I could say this was the most frustrating game for me to watch as an undergrad, but then Eastern Washington happened (Sigh).


More from Hoosier State of Mind

January 14, 2014: Indiana 75, #3 Wisconsin 72

This game was almost a complete role reversal from the year before, and also the only time Tom Crean beat Ryan while coaching at Indiana. This was a phenomenal game that featured a back and forth duel between Yogi Ferrell and Traevon Jackson in the second half. After the game Indiana was criticized when its student section rushed the court to celebrate the win. Here’s my stance on rushing the court: students can do it whenever they want. Heck, Clemson students rushed the field earlier this year in football when they were already ranked #1 in the country! But I digress.

Just as a disclaimer, the only reason that I was able to pick two Indiana wins as my “Best Games” is because most Wisconsin/Indiana games under Ryan turned into blowout wins for the Badgers. The college basketball nation is certainly sad to see Ryan retire, but Crean and Indiana have to be happy that a man who has had IU’s number for so many years is hanging it up.