North Carolina vs. Indiana score, takeaways: Undefeated Hoosiers stay hot as Tar Heels' slide continues

Indiana secured its fourth win over a ranked team under coach Mike Woodson and one its most important momentum-building moments Wednesday as the No. 10 Hoosiers downed No. 18 North Carolina 77-65 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge finale. Indiana led for more than 37 minutes of play in the impressive showing, stifling UNC on defense and sending it packing to extend the preseason No. 1 Tar Heels' losing streak to three.

Defense was the catalyst that keyed Indiana to its biggest win of the young season. Against a UNC team that came in ranked 11th nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency, IU held the Tar Heels to 20 of 59 (34%) shooting from the floor and converted 17 points off 10 forced turnovers in the game to lift it past the finish line.

Senior star Trayce Jackson-Davis was big as per usual for Indiana, turning in a game-high 21 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. But IU newbie Jalen Hood-Schifino was equally as important in what turned out to be a coming out party for him, adding a career-high 14 points to go with six rebounds. Senior backcourt partner Xavier Johnson added 20 points and 8 rebounds as Woodson went nine-deep into his bench to get nearly everyone involved in the action.

Wednesday night was the continuation of two quite opposite trajectories for both Indiana and for North Carolina, the latter of which has suffered three consecutive defeats dating back to its participation last week in the PK85. On the other hand, Indiana has now won its opening seven games, marking the first 7-0 start for the program since 2019-20.

Here are three takeaways from the game.

1. North Carolina has lost its swagger

It's hard to imagine, but less than eight months ago, the nucleus of this Carolina team -- missing only Brady Manek from its starting lineup for this year -- was playing Kansas in the NCAA championship having put together a magical March run. This team, as you might expect, garnered plenty of preseason buzz because of how it finished the season and who it brought back. This team, though, just has not clicked in the way it did to end last season. Its shot selection, particularly at the guard spots, has not been great; its shooting overall has been well below average, likely related to selection; and its stars have not been up to the task. It's not one thing that has derailed UNC's start to the season, but rather an accumulation of small things that have added up to make this team feel ... off. It was preseason No. 1 for a reason, and it has the goods to get back on track at some point, but its swagger has been stunted.

2. Indiana validating preseason hype

In what looked to be a wide-open Big Ten this season, Indiana earned love as the conference's preseason favorite in the media poll. And so far that seems like it was either spot on or really darn close to being spot on -- depending on what you think of Purdue or Illinois so far. A win over this version of North Carolina by no means signals Indiana has arrived, but it won in impressive fashion against a team that, while struggling, is still borderline top-25 caliber. This Hoosiers team is top-heavy and deep in a way that makes it on paper one of the true contenders in the Big Ten and beyond. 

3. Jalen Hood-Schifino is a budding star

Trayce Jackson-Davis is a superstar who can carry Indiana regardless of the talent around him. You know senior Xavier Johnson is going to be steady. But Jalen Hood-Schifino's sudden arrival, if this is indeed prescriptive, can signal a different and more dangerous Indiana team may be bubbling. Hood-Schifino was a top-30 recruit coming out of high school, and he's already looking the part of a potential one-and-done with his length and smooth scoring ability. If his breakout against UNC is a sign of things to come, then he's a high-end luxury for a team that already had top-10 potential.

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@IndianaMBB via Twitter
December 1, 2022, 4:34 AM
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@UNC_Basketball via Twitter
December 1, 2022, 4:18 AM
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@IndianaMBB via Twitter
December 1, 2022, 4:07 AM
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@UNC_Basketball via Twitter
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@IndianaMBB via Twitter
December 1, 2022, 2:54 AM
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Armando Bacot is back on the floor after the shoulder injury earlier in the half. Good news for UNC. Not sure it would have a chance without him. Trayce Jackson-Davis is so impactful for IU in the paint it's going to need Bacot as much as it can have him.

December 1, 2022, 2:53 AM
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@IndianaMBB via Twitter
December 1, 2022, 2:48 AM
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Armando Bacot injured

UNC big man Armando Bacot already dealing with a nagging ankle injury and now he's dealing with a shoulder injury after colliding awkwardly with Indiana's Trayce Jackson-Davis early in the first half. Bacot went to the locker room for further evaluation but has already made his way back to the bench. He's among the toughest players in college hoops but could be a significant injury relevant to this game. 

December 1, 2022, 2:40 AM
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First time watching Jalen Hood-Schifino of Indiana tonight extensively beyond game snippets. Really impressed. Long, fluid athlete who can put it on the floor and attack. Finishes well with both hands. Not sure if he's a 2023 prospect or not but definitely on the radar as a potential first-rounder. 

December 1, 2022, 2:32 AM
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