BOZICH | Three reasons North Carolina will defeat Indiana - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Three reasons North Carolina will defeat Indiana

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North Carolina is favored to beat Indiana in the Sweet Sixteen. North Carolina is favored to beat Indiana in the Sweet Sixteen.

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WDRB) – Before you make your prediction on the Indiana-North Carolina game in the East Regional semifinals of the NCAA Tournament, here are three reasons to believe that UNC will join Oregon and Kansas as number one seeds advancing to the Elite Eight.

1. The data from ShotAnalytics.com shows Indiana’s biggest issue with North Carolina will be protecting the rim.

The Tar Heels rank first in the nation in scoring at the rim –- making 68 percent of their attempts and scoring 1,208 points. The point total leads every school still playing in the NCAA Tournament.

According to ShotAnalytics, the Tar Heels take 38 percent of their field goal attempts at the rim. Look for UNC to attack IU freshman center Thomas Bryant, who went to the bench with two fouls before the first TV timeout of IU’s second-round game against Kentucky last Saturday.

Bryant earned at least four fouls in eight of Indiana’s 18 Big Ten games.

2. North Carolina, Virginia and Gonzaga are the only three teams still playing that have not been beaten by double figures this season.

In fact, none of the Tar Heels' six defeats has been by more than six. That defeat, of course, was delivered by Louisville (71-65) at the KFC Yum! Center on Feb. 1.

Carolina has won its five post-season games in the NCAA and Atlantic Coast Conference tournaments by an average of 17.4 points, handling Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Virginia, Florida Gulf Coast and Providence.

That's the kind of dominance you see from teams that roll into the Final Four and win national titles.

3. All the major computer rankings favor North Carolina.

The data at KenPom.com has the Tar Heels by four with a 65 percent win probability. Jeff Sagarin’s predictor numbers tilt to UNC by 2.4 points.

North Carolina ranks fifth in the Ratings Percentage Index, 19 spots ahead of IU. And the Tar Heels are fifth in Kevin Pauga’s analytics, 21 places ahead of IU.

Underdogs went 0-for-4 in Sweet Sixteen games in the South and West Regionals Thursday.

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