Can the Hoosiers make a statement at home against one of the best teams in the country? Will North Carolina flip the script in Indiana after losing two straight?
TV Schedule: Wednesday, November 30, 9:15 P.M on ESPN
Arena: Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana
The North Carolina Tar Heels go into this game with a 5-2 record. They lost to Alabama, and Iowa State. Both of their losses have come in the Phil Knight classic. Before the Phil Knight classic, the Tar Heels have struggled at points against not the greatest of opponents.
While they did not lose against those opponents considering the strength of some of these teams, it’s pretty bad that the score was within 10 points. The worst case of this is North Carolina only beating Gardner-Webb by SIX points.
Despite the struggles at points, this North Carolina team is loaded with talent. Pete Nance transferred to North Carolina in the offseason. Caleb Love, Armando Bacot, R.J Davis, and Leaky Black all returned from last season. This team has a loaded starting lineup full of talent.
One thing to keep in mind going into this game is that North Carolina will most likely be very fatigued after playing all weekend long in the Phil Knight invitational. While Indiana did play on Friday, that’s a five-day turnaround. Additionally, Indiana played Jackson State, in what clearly was a tune-up game.
The Indiana Hoosiers go into this game with a record 6-0. While they have been undefeated up to this point, the only real opponent they played is Xavier. In their one real game against Xavier, they beat Xavier but struggled in the last seconds as they only scored 1 point in the last 1 minute and 44 seconds
The Hoosiers are led by Trayce Jackson-Davis. Jackson Davis has been a scoring and rebounding machine. He is averaging 18 points on 76 percent shooting from the floor. Additionally, he has been averaging 8 rebounds per game.
They have a solid group of role players behind him. Xavier Johnson, Malik Reneau, and Jalen Hood Schifino all have been solid role players behind Jackson Davis. While all of them would probably struggle as being the number one option, they have been able to be very good as role players this season.
The matchup I am watching in this one will be Armando Bacot v Trayce Jackson Davis. This will be a battle of bigs. I think Bacot has the edge because of the height difference. Bacot is 6’11 while Jackson Davis is 6’9.
Still, this will be a really interesting matchup due to the Hoosier owning the size difference. Additionally, Indiana is home in this matchup and one of the best arenas in college basketball will be rocking any time Davis gets a stop on Bacot.
Indiana is gonna need Trayce Jackson Davis to win his matchup against Armando Bacot, but I have the Hoosiers in this one. North Carolina has a lot of talent on their team but they have looked sloppy this season. While the Hoosiers only have one real star, they have a lot of good players on their team. Therefore, I think the Hoosiers take this one. Either way, I think this one will be a really good game to watch.
Prediction: Indiana 75, North Carolina 72