Indiana’s Toughest Foe
The ACC/Big Ten Challenge gives basketball fans a contest between historic programs.
North Carolina came into the season as the team to beat. Thursday, the Tar Heels are four-point underdogs, according to the sportsbook.
Check the status of North Carolina’s All-American forward, Armando Bacot. He’s questionable with a tender ankle. Bacot (+600) is currently second in the national player of the year odds. Indiana’s Trey Galloway (knee) is also questionable.
Despite losses early in the season, the 5-2 North Carolina Tar Heels (+170) are still listed by the college basketball playoff odds as the favorites to win the ACC title. Indiana (+325), entering at 6-0, is the favorite in the Big Ten race. North Carolina (+1400) is third (tied) in the odds to win the national title, while Indiana (+3000) is 15th (tied, too).
Indiana did advance to eighth in the coaches poll, now 10th in the Associated Press. North Carolina fell out of the top spots in both polls. The Tar Heels are 15th (coaches), and 18th (AP).
Heels’ Problematic Perimeter
If there was a constant in the two losses suffered by a North Carolina team that entered the season favored to win the national title, it’s been less-than-stellar long-range Heel defense.
North Carolina has been outscored, 75-30, on 3-pointers in games against unranked Iowa St. and top-20 Alabama. The Cyclones and Crimson Tide were a combined 43% in long-range accuracy, while Carolina made only 24% of its 3-pointers.
With Bacot and Pete Nance already in double digits in blocked shots, the opposition is looking to score outside rather than to attack the rim.
With the Hoosiers making 38% of their 3-point attempts, it will force North Carolina perimeter players to pressure shooters.
Carolina has covered against the college basketball predictions in just one of its last six.
Scoop on Free Play from the Locker Room
Hoosiers on Target
What’s been key to Indiana’s perfect start this season is its ability to finish games. Only Arizona has a better team field-goal percentage than Indiana does.
Leading scorer Trayce Jackson-Davis is hitting 76% of his shots, Jordan Geronimo and freshman Kaleb Banks are a combined 25-of-35 and freshman Malik Reneau is shooting 63.6%. As a team, Indiana is shooting 55.9%, and 63.3% inside the 3-point line.
The degree of difficulty is about to increase, as Indiana is seeing its first-ranked opponent (first out of a Power-5 conference). Indiana is passing the eye test when it comes to getting the right people taking the shots, improving the shot selection after connecting on just 45.9% of its field-goal attempts last season (34% beyond the arc).
The college basketball betting line’s total has gone over in five of Indiana’s last seven games, as well as three of the four home games this season.
North Carolina vs Indiana Game Injuries
North Carolina vs Indiana Head-to-Head
This is the first meeting since Indiana’s 76-67 win in 2016 as a four-point favorite.
The teams have split the last four, with the Hoosiers covering three of those games.
Three of those finals went under the total, with the total here at 144½, the lowest in the series since the 2001 game won by Indiana, 79-66 (total of 136½).
North Carolina vs Indiana Game Information
- Game: North Carolina (5-2) vs Indiana (6-0)
- Day/Time: Wednesday, Nov. 30th, 9:15 p.m. ET
- Location: Assembly Hall, Bloomington, IN
- North Carolina vs Indiana Live stream: TBS.com
North Carolina vs Indiana Betting Lines
North Carolina vs Indiana Picks & Prediction
North Carolina lost its only other game this season when listed by the Las Vegas odds as the underdog. Naturally, the status of double-double machine Bacot will have a major impact on this game, and the line could be impacted by his availability.
North Carolina’s leading scorer, Caleb Love, is 17-of-50 (4-of-18 3-pointers). He will need to have a better shot selection if the Tar Heels are to reach their expectations. He is coming off a career-high 34 points in a four-overtime loss to ‘Bama, but needed 36 shots to get those points.
Caleb Love: Career-high 32 points.
Heels lead by 2 | 1:32 3OT pic.twitter.com/mhnCdMsH6F
— Carolina Basketball (@UNC_Basketball) November 27, 2022
Other than a tough test against Xavier in the Gavitt Tipoff, Indiana has overwhelmed overmatched opponents during its perfect start to the season. How will the Hoosiers handle things this game if it comes down to the final possessions, against those players who just led UNC to the national title game? The line opened with Indiana favored by 4½ points and has moved down to 4
The North Carolina Tar Heels are listed at +170 in our Vegas college basketball lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Tar Heels, you have a chance to win $170. The Indiana Hoosiers are -200, offering a chance to win $50 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives North Carolina a 37.04% chance to win, with Indiana at 66.67%.