In Indiana’s season-ending Sweet 16 loss, North Carolina got hot from distance early. Couple the Tar Heels’ 3-point barrage with their typically stellar work in the post and on the offensive boards, and it was too much for the Hoosiers to overcome.
We’ll take a look at how UNC got it going in the first half in the latest edition of Film Session:
Justin Jackson makes a move on Nick Zeisloft off the perimeter. Troy Williams sinks in off Marcus Paige:
North Carolina couldn’t shoot, and yet here was Marcus Paige dropping three … after three .. after three … after three. The Tar Heels were hot from distance from the start and it was an early nail in the coffin for Indiana’s hopes at its first Elite Eight berth under Tom Crean. The Hoosiers went down by 10 with 9:49 to go in the first half and never got any closer the rest of the way.
North Carolina entered the game shooting just 31.4 percent from distance. The Tar Heels finished off the Hoosiers’ season by hitting 55 percent (11-of-20) from distance. It wasn’t all that sunk Indiana. Entering the game as the fourth best offensive rebounding team in the country, the Tar Heels snagged almost half their misses (47%) and even got three rebounds on multiple possessions in the second half. Their free throw rate was 53 percent and they hit 26-of-33 from the charity stripe. They turned it over on just 13 percent of their possessions. North Carolina scored 1.42 points per possession and shot an effective field goal percentage of 60.
Add it all up and Indiana simply was outplayed from start to finish.
PHILADELPHIA — After last week’s win against rival Kentucky, Indiana was rewarded with a trip to Philadelphia for the Sweet 16 – and a date with No. 1 seed North Carolina.
IU versus UNC is expected to be the most watched game of the weekend, just like IU-UK was last weekend.
“It’s a great challenge, because I mean they don’t put anybody out on the court that can’t defend at a high level or score at a high level,” Tom Crean said. “I think one of the things that separates this Carolina team so much is the way they pass the ball. So it all starts with your transition, because they get out and run.”
PHILADELPHIA – Tom Crean, Nick Zeisloft, Thomas Bryant and Yogi Ferrell took the podium on Thursday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena to preview Friday’s Sweet Sixteen NCAA tournament matchup with North Carolina.
Indiana is back in the Sweet Sixteen for the third time in five years and the Hoosiers will face top-seeded North Carolina on Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Tar Heels, regular season and tournament champions of the ACC, have won seven straight games. The game will be broadcast at approximately 9:57 p.m. ET on TBS with Brian Anderson, Steve Smith and Dana Jacobson on the call:
PHILADELPHIA – After reaching the Sweet Sixteen in 2012 and 2013, Indiana will attempt to advance to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2002 on Friday night.
It’s been a season of ups (Big Ten regular season championship) and downs (Maui, Duke loss) for this group, but the Hoosiers now have a chance to write a final chapter to the season. The next test is a significant one in North Carolina, arguably the second best team left in the field.
The Tar Heels, behind Kansas, are the second pick remaining in the field to win the 2016 national championship, which would be their third under Roy Williams. With a top 10 offense and defense nationally, North Carolina is an even tougher challenge than the round of 32 game against Kentucky, which Indiana won, 73-67.
A win and the Hoosiers will play Notre Dame or Wisconsin for the right to march onto the Final Four next weekend in Houston. A loss, however, means the end of the road for an Indiana team that has showed continued growth and improvement all season. Is Indiana ready to take that next step?
Indiana will face North Carolina in the NCAA tournament East Regional semifinal on Friday at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We’ll have our in-depth What To Expect preview later in the week, but here’s a first look at the top-seeded Tar Heels.
North Carolina already has two national championships under Roy Williams and many believe this could be the year the Tar Heels capture a third under his leadership.
The ACC regular season and tournament champions, North Carolina is playing arguably its best stretch of basketball of the season at just the right time. After a tough first half against Florida Gulf Coast, the Tar Heels came alive to win their first round game comfortably, 83-67. That performance was followed up by a blowout win over Providence, 85-66, in the second round in Raleigh.
Here’s a full transcript of what Crean had to say about the top-seeded Tar Heels when asked about the challenges they’ll present for the Hoosiers:
“The length and the glass, there’s no question. Watching them the way we have, their transition is … we always, in our mind, the best transition in our league is Iowa and Michigan. I know ours is good, but I always think Iowa and Michigan. And a lot of times, Michigan State’s transition especially when they run after a made basket.
Beyond the relentless break this Indiana team throws at opponents, beyond the individual talent of their Starting Six, there’s this truth: These Hoosiers, they of the most efficient offense in the country, show a special ability to share the ball and make the extra (and sometimes extra-extra-extra) pass.
A deep look at a prime example of their unselfishness in the latest edition of Film Session.
Indiana punches the lead out to 19 in the second half against North Carolina and the water smells of blood.
Cody Zeller snags a rebound on the left block off a Tar Heel miss. He immediately outlet passes to Jordan Hulls. Hulls pushes it up the left side of the court. Will Sheehey — who bragged before the season that “there’s nobody in the country that can run as far and as long as I can,” and a re-watch of Indiana’s torrid run in the second half can make you a believer in such things — and Victor Oladipo sprint down the right side and look to fill an opening in the middle of the floor near the top of the key:
Yogi Ferrell is down in the right corner already ahead of the defense — he started his sprint down the court with less distance to cover than Sheeladipo — but there’s risk in Hulls playing that angle with Marcus Paige sitting under the free throw line. So Hulls opts to slow things down with Indiana not having the numbers to take advantage, as North Carolina has all five players over halfcourt.
Recognizing there will be no fast-break score here, Sheehey immediately goes and sets a ball screen for Hulls. It becomes a double ball screen when Cody Zeller enters the play as well. You can see that Hulls starts to split the defenders as both ball screens free him from Leslie McDonald and Joel James makes the decision to reach for the ball instead of getting his body in front of Jordy: