FINAL: Indiana 77, North Carolina 65
Backed by an strong defensive effort, No. 10 Indiana picked up an impressive win over No. 18 Carolina 77-65 on Wednesday night to remain undefeated.
The Hoosiers picked up their first ranked win to contribute to the Tar Heels' slide that is now up to three in a row. UNC, which was No. 1 in the preseason, has also lost to Iowa State and Alabama since Friday.
Defensively, Indiana set the tone immediately by suffocating North Carolina in the half court. The Hoosiers scored 17 points off 10 Tar Heel turnovers and outshot UNC 50% to 33.9% while making 11 more shots from the field.
Trayce Jackson-Davis led all scorers with 21 to go along with 10 rebounds and four assists. Xavier Johnson followed close behind with 20 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Johnson and his backcourt mate Jalen Hood-Schifino (14 points) exemplified the Hoosiers defensive executing perfectly against North Carolina’s talented guards, holding them to a combined 9 for 27.
That all meant the skid continued for the Tar Heels. This time last week, North Carolina held the No. 1 spot going back to the preseason. The team's leading scorer, Caleb Love, struggled and shot only 5 for 16 and 13 points.
The other half of the Heels’ one-two punch, Armando Bacot, didn’t have a typical explosive performance due to nursing a couple injuries. Early in the first half, Bacot sustained a blow to the shoulder which seemed to inhibit him throughout the game. That came after injuring his ankle in the last game.
Next, the Tar Heels look to get right against unranked Virginia Tech on Dec. 4 while Indiana will face its first conference opponent in Rutgers on Dec. 3.
The Hoosiers look to hand North Carolina its third straight loss
We’re under five minutes in this final ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchup, and Indiana leads by 11.
But the former No. 1 team is not out going quietly after the Tar Heels cut the lead to six just minutes ago. But the question is: can they stop Indiana enough to get over the hump?
They have just 4:15 to make a comeback.
Indiana continues to roll North Carolina
The Hoosiers have widened the gap to 13, the largest of the game.
Everything offensively for the Tar Heels is coming from the half-court with the Hoosiers’ defense forcing them into jump shot after jump shot.
Caleb Love, who averages 20 points per contest this season, is just 1 for 7 with 3 points.
As for Indiana, they’ve gotten good production on the break turning defense into offense with eight fast break points and six off turnovers.
Indiana leads 48-35 with 13:58 left to play.
HALFTIME: Indiana 35, North Carolina 29
The Hoosiers lead the Tar Heels by six at the end of the half.
After North Carolina took its first lead, Indiana responded with a 11-2 run to open up its largest lead of the game (10).
Defensively, Indiana’s pressure has been too much for the Tar Heels as they shot just 28.6%.
However, the Hoosiers are lacking on the perimeter shooting by going 2 for 9 on 3s (22.2%). The 3-ball has kept the Tar Heels in it with 12 of their 29 points coming from beyond the arc.
North Carolina is trying to avoid losing three straight for the first time in three years, and for the first time with Hubert Davis at the helm.
North Carolina wakes up
The Tar Heels made four straight shots to take a one-point lead briefly.
Pete Nance helped lead the run with nine points. Indiana's Jalen Hood-Schifino tops all with a game-high 12 points.
The Hoosiers lead 24-22, 7:20 left to play in the half.
Indiana up early on North Carolina 12-8
The Hoosiers have got things starting, leading the Tar Heels backed by a LOUD crowd at Assembly Hall.
North Carolina is struggling offensively, shooting 13% from the field compared to Hoosiers' 50%, but trail by only four.
Bacot banged up
Armando Bacot appears to be dealing a shoulder injury early in this one after nursing an ankle injury in 4OT loss last game. Bacot briefly left the game but returned to the floor a few minutes later.
11:56 to play in the first.
👀 How to watch Indiana take on North Carolina
The Indiana vs. North Carolina matchup is one of six ACC/Big Ten Challenge games on Wednesday, closing the chapter on the ACC/Big Ten Challenge since it started in 1999.
Here's how to watch:
- When: 9:25 p.m. ET Wednesday, Nov. 30
- Watch live: ESPN
- Where: Bloomington, Ind.
Indiana vs. North Carolina, previewed
The ACC/Big Ten Challenge concludes Wednesday with a high stakes matchup between No. 10 Indiana and No. 18 North Carolina.
Winning this non-conference game could have meaningful implications for both teams.
Why North Carolina needs this win:
The Tar Heels fell 17 spots from No. 1 after losing to Alabama and Iowa State last week in the Phil Knight Invitational. North Carolina desperately needs a win, especially after the four-overtime heartbreaking loss against Alabama. A chance to hand top-10 Indiana its first loss of the season could be the way to right the ship.
Why Indiana needs this win:
Meanwhile, the Hoosiers are rolling. Undefeated at 6-0, Indiana entered the Associated Press poll top 10 for the first time since the 2016-17 season. However, the Hoosiers have yet to play a ranked opponent in this early season. A win against the former No. 1 team and last year's national runner-up could solidify Indiana’s position as a team to watch; plus come March this could be a great win to put on the resume.