As expected, the Tar Heels survived the 1st weekend in Raleigh. While tested, neither game ever seemed to be in doubt. Indiana presents a new challenge. They can match Carolina’s depth. They also feature strength in some typical areas of weakness for this Tar Heel squad – strong 3-point shooting and offensive rebounding. Here is a primer for what most people are considering the marquee matchup of the Sweet 16.
Sweet Sixteen: Indiana
- 27-7 (15-3)
- 1st in Big Ten
- Stat Leaders
- Points: Yogi Ferrell – 17.0
- Assists: Yogi Ferrell – 5.5
- FG%: Thomas Bryant – 68.6
- Rebounds: Troy Williams – 5.9
- Steals: Troy Williams – 1.2
- Blocks: Thomas Bryant – 0.9
- Minutes: Yogi Ferrell – 34.7
Probable Indiana Starters
|Points per game||82.4||82.5|
|Adj. Offensive Efficiency (Rank)||120.1 (5th)||118.9 (8th)|
|Adj. Defensive Efficiency (Rank)||93.6 (11th)||98.0 (54th)|
|Tempo (Rank)||72.0 (48th)||69.2 (152nd)|
|Offensive Reb Rate||39.9%||37.1%|
|Defensive Reb Rate||70.1%||71.2%|
Much like Carolina, the Hoosiers have a lot of depth on their roster. That depth has taken a hit though. Starter James Blackmon, Jr. was lost for the season before conference play. Typical starter Robert Johnson has been limited recently by a high ankle sprain and missed most of the Kentucky game last weekend. Juwan Morgan has been limited by recurring shoulder problems. Johnson and Morgan’s effectiveness will certainly be a factor this evening.
X-Factor – Thomas Bryant. If he stays on the court, it allows Indiana to have a balanced inside/outside attack. The Heels will need to go at him early and often, as he is prone to fouling, and force him to the bench.
Main Key to the Game – Limit Indiana’s open looks from 3. The Hoosiers will score from outside, but the Heels must channel their ACC Tournament defense and get a hand up on shooters. The key will be staying in front of Ferrell or other penetrating guards so that the other 4 defenders don’t have to help off shooters.