Three things to watch for: North Carolina at Indiana

  • 11/28/2022 8:40 am in

We’ll have our traditional “what to expect” preview later in the week, but here are three things to watch for when North Carolina comes to Bloomington on Wednesday:

Are the Tar Heels weary after Sunday’s four-overtime loss?

North Carolina was the nation’s No. 1 team last week. After two losses in three games in Portland, the Tar Heels are in line for a major drop when the Associated Press poll comes out today.

North Carolina’s challenging trip to the west coast began with an 89-81 win over Portland. The Tar Heels then took back-to-back losses to Iowa State on Friday and Alabama on Sunday.

The loss to the Crimson Tide was particularly draining for North Carolina. The Tar Heels battled four overtimes before falling 103-101. Now, North Carolina has to travel back three time zones and play less than 72 hours later in Bloomington. Hubert Davis will surely have his team ready to go. Indiana, however, will have the advantage of being at home and being the more well-rested team.

The health of Trayce Jackson-Davis and Armando Bacot

After missing Wednesday’s win against Little Rock with a sore back, Jackson-Davis returned to the Indiana lineup for Friday’s win against Jackson State.

The preseason All-American played well but wasn’t as explosive as usual.

Mike Woodson said postgame that Jackson-Davis would need the next few days to prepare for Wednesday.

“He didn’t play a lot of minutes today,” Woodson explained. “We’ll go back and assess where he is. You know, he has these next few days to get ready for Wednesday’s game.

“So like I told him when I broke huddle, you guys that are a little beat up, you’ve got to get in and get treatment and get yourselves ready for Wednesday because that’s our next game.”

The status of Bacot, is far more up in the air than Jackson-Davis. In Sunday’s loss to Alabama, Bacot felt “sharp pains” in his ankle.

A big-time atmosphere in Assembly Hall

Wednesday night should produce a special atmosphere in Assembly Hall.

This is a game Indiana fans have circled on the calendar since it was announced back in June.

It’s a late-night tip and the anticipation for the game will build all day. The Crimson Guard, IU’s student section, will be lined up all day. Indiana has also announced that Wednesday’s game will be a “white-out.”

It could also be Indiana’s first home game as a top-10 team since the 2016-17 season. For a fanbase that has craved a return to relevancy in college basketball, all eyes will be on Bloomington on Wednesday and it should be a night to remember in terms of the atmosphere.

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