Indiana played like the top-ranked team in the nation Tuesday, as the Hoosiers manhandled the No. 14 North Carolina Tar Heels, 83-59, in front of a frenzied Assembly Hall crowd.
The premier matchup of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge turned out to be a one-sided affair when the Hoosiers (7-0) extended its nine-point halftime lead by scoring 22 of the first 25 points after the break.
Cody Zeller dominated to the tune of 20 points, eight rebounds and four blocks, and the super sophomore got plenty of help from his teammates. Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey netted 19 points apiece and Jordan Hulls filled the stat sheet with 13 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in the blowout.
James Michael McAdoo was held scoreless in the second half and finished with 10 points on 4-of-15 shooting for the inexperienced Tar Heels (5-2), who shot just 38 percent from the field and 6-of-14 from the foul line to lose for the second time in three games.
"The good news for them is that we are close to exam period and have things going on tomorrow. The greatest thing that's ever happened to North Carolina basketball is that we have no practice tomorrow," UNC head coach Roy Williams said.
Dexter Strickland scored a team-high 14 points in the setback.
North Carolina led only once, when Brice Johnson hit a jumper for a 19-18 lead midway through the first half.
With the score tied, 31-31, Hulls fueled a 15-6 run over the final four minutes with a pair of perfect outlet passes, which ended in dunks by Zeller and Oladipo, respectively.
Zeller also put back his own miss with a massive two-handed slam during the spurt, and his tip-in just before the buzzer gave Indiana a 46-37 cushion.
The Hoosiers put the game away after the intermission, rattling off the first 13 points as North Carolina missed 11 consecutive shots. Hulls twice hit from behind the arc during the five-minute stretch, while Oladipo put in an acrobatic tip-in that fired up the home fans.
"We got on a run there going into the second half and then we kind of kept it up coming out of the half," Zeller said. "We just had to keep up the energy, keep pushing it in transition and keep getting after them on defense."
The difference reached as high as 32 with just over four minutes left as Sheehey's third 3-pointer of the half made it an 83-51 bout.
Indiana improved to 5-7 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, while North Carolina has split its 14 games in the event ... Indiana has won 34 straight home games in November dating back to the 2001-02 season ... The Tar Heels have knocked off the No. 1 team in the nation an NCAA record 12 times, but have not done so since beating Duke on Mar. 4, 2006 ... Indiana leads the all-time series, 8-5 ... This was the last of five straight games away from home for North Carolina, which returns to Chapel Hill on Saturday to battle UAB ... The Hoosiers host Coppin State Saturday.