Previewing Indiana

Roy Williams questioned his team's toughness after last week's loss. The head coach will find out quickly if the Tar Heels respond to his challenge as there will be no tougher game on the schedule than Tuesday at No. 1 Indiana. Tip-off in this ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchup at Assembly Hall is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. on ESPN.

North Carolina (5-1) vs. Indiana (6-0)
Bloomington, Ind. -- Assembly Hall (17,472)
Tuesday, 9:30 p.m.
ESPN (Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale, Andy Katz)


"They're a very good basketball team. They are coming off a loss; that always gets you a little more re-focused. They're really good on the backboards, so we've got to do a good job of rebounding the ball. You might want to bring a neck brace. I think that ball is going to be up and down the floor all night. It's going to be a very fast type of environment out on the floor, but we can't play too fast." -- Indiana assistant head coach Tim Buckley on UNC

"He's a remarkable player. He's got 'Z's' size but does some more things out on the court probably than Tyler did for us and maybe a little more flexibility to his game, but they have five guys averaging double figures and you guys have heard me say before that that's the most difficult team to try and guard and so we can't just load it up on [Cody] because those other four guys all average in double figures as well." -- Roy Williams on Cody Zeller


Season to Date: No. 1 Indiana enters Tuesday's ACC/Big Ten Challenge with a 6-0 record. The Hoosiers have dismantled a quartet of lower caliber schools (Bryant, North Dakota State, Sam Houston State and Ball State) and withheld challenges from both Georgia (66-53) and Georgetown (82-72 OT) in the first month of the season.

Familiar Name in the Middle: There's a reason UNC head coach Roy Williams put on the full court press for Tyler Zeller's little brother, Cody. The 7-foot sophomore earned 2012-13 Preseason National Player of the Year honors to go along with Preseason All-America and Preseason Big Ten Player of the Year accolades following a rookie season in which he averaged 15.6 points on 62.3 percent shooting and 6.6 rebounds per game. The Washington, Ind. product is posting similar numbers this season, averaging 15.2 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.

Senior Standout: All national title contenders need savvy veteran leadership to direct the team through adversity. Senior Jordan Hulls is filling that role thus for Tom Crean's fifth team in Bloomington with 91 starts on his resume. The 6-foot, 182-pound guard is averaging 13.0 points per game, thanks to a lethal 54.3 3-point shooting percentage (19-of-35). Hulls has made at least three 3-pointers in all six games this season and has connected on 44.8 percent from long range for his career. Possibly even more impressive is his 4.6:1 assist-turnover ratio (23:5) this season.

Strong Starting Five: While Zeller and Hulls may be deserving of the most headlines, the remaining members of IU's starting five are worthy of attention as well. Indiana returned all five starters from its squad that finished the 2011-12 season with a 27-9 record and a Sweet 16 appearance. Junior guard Victor Oladipo (11.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg) is known for his defensive efforts, while senior forward Christian Watford (13.2 ppg, 8.0 rpg) compliments Zeller on the interior. True freshman guard Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell quickly worked his way into the starting lineup is averaging 6.2 points and an impressive 2.6:1 assist-turnover ratio.

Stat Crunch: The Hoosiers lead the Big Ten in scoring offense (88.7), scoring margin (plus-32.3) and rebounding margin (plus-14.2) and rank second in turnover margin (plus-4.2), 3-point field goal percentage defense (27.5), field goal percentage defense (35.5), field goal percentage (52.5) and free throw percentage (74.0). Indiana also ranks third in 3-point field goal percentage (41.4).

Random Fact of the Day: Indiana has shot 42.8 percent from 3-point territory since the beginning of the 2011-12 season, good for tops in the nation during that span.

Last Meeting: The ninth-ranked Tar Heels defeated the Hoosiers, 70-63, in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Dec. 1, 2004. Rashad McCants scored a game-high 19 points and Raymond Felton added 18 points. UNC committed 23 turnovers, but held Indiana to 33.8 percent shooting in Sean May's hostile homecoming game.

Series History: Indiana leads the all-time series with North Carolina, 7-5.

Projected Starters:
11 Yogi Ferrell (6-0, 178, Fr.) - 6.2 ppg, 4.8 apg
1 Jordan Hulls (6-0, 182, Sr.) - 13.0 ppg, 3.8 apg
4 Victor Oladipo (6-5, 214, Jr.) - 11.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg
2 Christian Watford (6-9, 232, Sr.) - 13.2 ppg, 8.0 rpg
40 Cody Zeller (7-0, 240, So.) - 15.2 ppg, 7.7 rpg

Top Reserves:
0 Will Sheehey (6-7, 200, Jr.) - 10.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg
23 Remy Abell (6-4, 201, So.) - 7.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg
33 Jeremy Hollowell (6-8, 217, Fr.) - 6.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg

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(Photos by US Presswire)

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