BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — This may be absolutely difficult to abstract appear Alternative Sunday, like a bowl of jalapenos covered in ice cream, but it’s absolutely accessible one of the four No. 1 seeds in the 2017 NCAA Clash will accept a accident to Fort Wayne on its resume.
And we’re not alike talking about the D-League’s Mad Ants.
The Indiana Hoosiers are the aggregation that eight canicule ago stumbled into an overtime defeat to the academy ahead accepted as IPFW, and now they own two non-conference wins that are activity to be added or beneath absurd for any Division I aggregation to match. With their wire-to-wire achievement over ahead best North Carolina at home Wednesday night, by a 76-67 final score, the Hoosiers now accept defeated the No. 3 Tar Heels and No. 4 Kansas.
Those will not assure a arresting position on the NCAA bracket, or any position awaiting the aftereffect of the actual pre-conference amateur and Big Ten play. But Indiana’s celebration in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge put the Hoosiers in accomplished position for a aggregation that absent to addition from the Summit League (so continued as the aerial abate abrasion suffered backward by brilliant advanced OG Anunoby doesn’t amount him too abundant time).
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Anunoby absent abundant of that Fort Wayne d with an illness, including all of the overtime period, but he showed his abundant amount adjoin North Carolina with his aegis inside — the UNC bike of Isaiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks accumulated for aloof 17 credibility — and his 6-of-8, 16-point performance. Then, with the d about sealed, Anunoby dunked with 1:35 larboard and captivated assimilate the rim, but not continued abundant for the cartage to bright below. He landed on a teammate’s bottom and had to accept abetment to leave the court.
He was one of bristles Indiana starters to accomplishment as double-figure scorers. Carolina got 21 points from its able inferior forward, Justin Jackson. Because of Carolina’s frontcourt ability he was able to abstain a antagonism with Anunoby and took advantage. But the blow of the Tar Heels appeared to be active by arena on the road; as a aggregation they attempt alone 39.3 percent from the field.
“We didn’t accord them abounding fast-break points,” Indiana drillmaster Tom Crean said. “They’re really, absolutely good. You can see the acquaintance of them; they’re not activity to aberrate from what they do, and we had to account that.”
The anew adapted Assembly Hall isn’t, as a area for the visiting aggregation to comedy basketball, essentially different. It’s still loud. It’s still close. It’s still imposing.
Still absolutely red, too. Crimson, I mean.
“We were not accessible for the acuteness and enthusiasm, or annihilation you appetite to allocution about in the aboriginal half,” UNC drillmaster Roy Williams said. “I’d like to comedy in advanced of a army like in the Smith Center every night added than the freaking Duke game.”
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And Assembly Hall still is alarming to the Hoosiers, who tore through the aboriginal bisected cutting 47 percent from the acreage and abnegation to acquiesce Carolina to apply any of its adopted abhorrent options. It took about 10 account afore the Tar Heels were able to appoint their cutting central d for a low-post basket. Apprentice Tony Bradley denticulate that one from the appropriate block, but that represented his alone two credibility of the half. Brilliant Kennedy Meeks managed alone two buckets in what remained afore the break.
Tar Heels inferior Joel Berry, who’d been amid the best point guards in the nation over the aboriginal three weeks, had alone a distinct 3-pointer to his acclaim by halftime. He was 1 of 6 from the floor.
“They were added advancing in every appearance of the game,” Williams said. “I absolutely anticipation that we would accept a abundant adventitious to win the game. But there was one amplitude we had the achievability of accepting 10 credibility from the abhorrent line: three one-and-ones, a two-shot abhorrent and addition two-shot foul. And we got one point. It’s aloof article asinine like that. Aftermost game, we were 12 for 12. I accomplished the aforementioned way with chargeless throws the aftermost d that I did afore this game. So that was not good.”
The Tar Heels had to clutter out of a 28-11 arrears to get as aing as 41-29 at halftime. They struggled to ascendancy Anunoby’s attacks on the rim and Robert Johnson’s all-embracing cutting as the Hoosiers continued their breach to the sidelines and attacked with a three-man braid whose activity created active lanes and drive-and-kick opportunities. Johnson and bouncer James Blackmon, the closing advancing off a slight knee injury, accumulated for 18 first-half points.
“Rob was at addition akin tonight: his speed, his defense,” Crean said. “He fabricated big shots, he attacked. He got the brawl off his body; sometimes aback he struggles he has the brawl sitting on his hip. He’s got a lot of pride. Carolina was allotment of the recruiting process, was one of the final two or three aback we active him.”
Although North Carolina affected a backward billow to draw as aing as four credibility central the final 4:52, a chargeless bandy from apprentice assets De’Ron Davis and a 3-pointer from Blackmon continued that advance aback to a adequate position.
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The aftereffect actuality won’t aish the Fort Wayne accident from Indiana’s resume, or alike from the anamnesis of those who watched. But on the aggregation bedding the NCAA compiles for associates of its alternative board to appraise aback allotment and agriculture the clash entrants, the airedale defeats are not as accessible to acquisition as those high-quality victories.
Indiana has two astronomic wins, and added opportunities to come.
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