Tar Heels catch Hoosiers at vulnerable time

Tar Heels catching Hoosiers at vulnerable time

It’s bad enough that Indiana succumbed to middling Fort Wayne last week. Now, though, Tom Crean’s troops may have to face No. 3 North Carolina without their leading scorer.

Junior guard James Blackmon Jr. continues to battle a left knee injury, casting a long shadow over tonight’s Big Ten-ACC showdown. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives the visiting Tar Heels odds of -240 to emerge victorious. The Hoosiers, on the other hand, represent +200 underdogs.

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Blackmon Jr. made it through that 71-68 overtime loss to the Mastodons unscathed. However, persistent discomfort forced the 21-year-old to miss Sunday’s 85-52 shellacking of Mississippi Valley State. A torn ACL cost him almost the entire 2015-16 season, too.

IU (4-1) obviously needs all available resources against Roy Williams’ bunch. Coming off a 71-56 rout of Wisconsin, UNC’s pouring in 92.9 points a contest. Five Tar Heels average in double figures, with upperclassmen Justin Jackson, Isaiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks spearheading the charge.

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The Assembly Hall crowd should keep Indiana laser-focused throughout this evening’s tilt. Still, Blackmon Jr.’s precarious health situation takes precedence. Lean toward North Carolina (7-0) by a rather comfortable margin.

 

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