In theory - each round of the NCAA Tournament brings a tougher challenge. That's likely true of Indiana, though honestly when it comes to sheer individual talent, the Hoosiers probably can't match either Kris Dunn or Ben Bentil of Providence.
IU though is here for a reason. Much like the Heels, they've found another gear as the season progressed. They are an exceedingly game group. Winners of the Big 10 regular season, their greatest asset is undoubtedly shooting prowess. 41 percent as a team from three point land will both win and keep you in a ton of games. In my view - an obscene shooting night is the Hoosiers only shot, as everything else tilts in Carolina's favor.
UNC is simply too big up front. Frosh Thomas Bryant is a prospect and dazzled vs UK, but defensively Indiana has no shot of slowing down Brice Johnson, Isaiah Hicks and yes, maybe even Kennedy Meeks. It should be a bloodbath in the paint.
The Hoosiers Achilles heel is their inability to take care of the ball. Carolina should be able to force and exploit turnovers. Indiana spoke at length yesterday about getting back in transition, almost with a knowing tone, resigned to the fact that this game will have a ton of open court opportunities. Those also favor the Heels with the likes of Joel Berry, Marcus Paige et al making good passing decisions or finishing themselves.
With the late news that IU guard Robert Johnson is highly unlikely to play, even more pressure lands on the shoulders of Yogi Ferrell, Troy Williams and Bryant. The Heels are likely unconcerned with the Johnson news as they are always far more concerned about reaching their level of excellence than whatever else the opposition has going. Barring a total egg-laying Roy's boys are a level above what Indiana can handle.
Bottom line - North Carolina will be playing on Sunday.
Pregame blog: Indiana can't handle the Tar Heels