NC Central (14-12) at (23) Indiana (20-7)
Wednesday February 22nd, 7:00 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Lucas Gulotta, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Assembly Hall (17,472) -- Bloomington, Indiana. Television: BTN.com. Home Record: NCCU 8-5, IU 15-1. Away Record: NCCU 4-9, IU 4-6. Neutral Record: NCCU 2-0, IU 1-0. Conference Record: NCCU 8-5, IU 8-7. Series Record: Indiana leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The 23rd-ranked Indiana Hoosiers host the NC Central Eagles tonight to end their non-conference slate at Assembly Hall.
Tonight will be the third encounter between Indiana and the Eagles. The Hoosiers hold a 2-0 lead in the series after their 72-56 victory on Nov. 23rd, 2010.
NC Central comes in with a 14-12 overall record and an 8-5 mark in MEAC play. The Eagles are coming off a 71-66 victory over North Carolina A&T on Saturday, in which they hit 48.8 percent of their field goals. NC Central has not played a ranked opponent yet this season, but it is 0-3 against BCS Conference programs (Wake Forest, NC State, and Oregon). LeVelle Moton is in his third season with the Eagles and has a 36-49 overall record with the program.
The Eagles will look to Dominique Sutton and Ray Willis to power the upset tonight. Sutton is leading the team with 16.3 points and 7.6 rebounds per game while connecting on 59.5 percent of his shots from the floor. Willis is contributing 15.8 points and 5.7 boards per game. Emanuel Chapman is a very good distributor as he is handing out 5.6 assists per contest.
Tom Crean's Hoosiers come in with a 20-7 overall record after their 78-66 setback against Iowa on Sunday. Indiana's loss snapped a three-game winning streak. The Hoosiers are 12-0 in non-conference action this season and boast an impressive 15-1 mark at Assembly Hall. Indiana's offense is very adept, as it nets 78.0 ppg, which is the 21st best average in the nation. The Hoosiers are allowing opponents to score 66.3 ppg.
Indiana's balanced attack is led by Cody Zeller, who averages team-highs of 15.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. Zeller is extremely efficient as he is connecting on 64.4 percent of his field goals. Christian Watford, Jordan Hulls, and Victor Oladipo are all contributing double-digit scoring averages for the Hoosiers as well. Oladipo and Zeller led the team with 15 points versus Iowa on Sunday.
Indiana should be able to bounce back against NC Central. The Eagles will have no answer for Zeller and Watford. Indiana is in good shape heading into the postseason as three of remaining four contests are at home, and only one of those bouts is against a ranked opponent. NC Central will not return home for the rest of the regular season, but could gain a lot of important experience from its battle with Indiana tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Indiana 81, NC Central 62
02/22 10:33:10 ET