NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS (5-1)
at INDIANA HOOSIERS (6-0)
ACC/Big Ten Challenge – Bloomington, IN
Tip-off: Tuesday, 9:30 p.m. ET
Line: Indiana -9.5, Total: 156
No. 1 Indiana will face its first ranked opponent of the season as it hosts No. 14 North Carolina in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
The Tar Heels enter Tuesday just one game removed from their first loss of the year -- to Butler in the Maui Invitational semifinals -- and travel to Bloomington without their third-leading scorer P.J. Hairston (knee). The Hoosiers, meanwhile, come into the game fresh off a 48-point victory against Ball State on Sunday. North Carolina will not be an easy foe, though, ranked in the top 10 nationally in rebounds (fifth, with 46.0 RPG), assists (seventh with 19.2 APG) and points (10th with 85.3 PPG).
Can Indiana handle Carolina by double-digits in this game? For the answer, connect to College Basketball Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. The StatFox experts have been on top of their game in the past four days, going a collective 20-12-1 ATS (63%) on college basketball Best Bets. The group is now 53.4% ATS (71-62-3) for the season, led by StatFox Gary at 58% ATS (14-10). StatFox Dave is at 56% ATS (29-23) for the season after going 65% ATS (20-11) since Nov. 17. StatFox Brian has gone 6-3-1 ATS (67%) in the past five days.
Like the Hoosiers, the Tar Heels have yet to face a great team, with their loss to Butler a noticeable blemish on their record so far. But this is a young team that is expected to improve throughout the season, led by the sophomore McAdoo and also receiving critical contributions from freshmen F Brice Johnson (8.7 PPG, 5.0 RPG) and PG Marcus Paige (7.3 RPG, 3.3 APG). Six-foot-7 junior guard Reggie Bullock is the team’s second-leading scorer at 12.7 PPG, and his size and shot—he’s hitting 2.7 threes per game on a 52% clip this year—make him a dangerous weapon. And if senior SG Dexter Strickland, who is off to a cold start with a 38.6 FG%, can heat up, this team will be dangerous.
The Hoosiers rank third in the nation in scoring with 88.7 PPG and are hitting 52.5% of their field goals, ranking seventh in the country. Zeller's 15.2 PPG paces the team, but he’s just one of five double-digit scorers. Six-foot-9 senior Christian Watford (13.2 PPG, 8.0 RPG) is a beast down low, while PG Jordan Hulls (13.0 PPG, 3.8 APG) runs the offense with a hot hand to start the year, making 3.2 threes per game on a healthy 54% rate from downtown. Talented swingman Victor Oladipo (11.0 PPG) plays the wing expertly for Indiana and has shown dramatic improvement offensively, making 66% of his field goals, including 78% of his two-pointers (21-of-27). Six-foot-7 junior Will Sheehey (10.7 PPG) rounds out the double-digit scorers and is coming off an 8-of-9 shooting performance with 19 points and six boards in just 19 minutes during the rout of Ball State.