Armando Bacot entered the Indiana game with an injured ankle and exited it with an injured shoulder. So perhaps that's the best explanation for why the North Carolina star was outplayed by fellow All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis late Wednesday. Either way, it was a disappointing individual performance that contributed to another disappointing team performance and resulted in a 77-65 loss at IU that extended the Tar Heels' losing streak to three games.
"The difference was Trayce Jackson-Davis," said UNC's second-year coach Hubert Davis, who watched Jackson-Davis finish with 21 points, 10 rebounds and four assists, while Bacot was held to 12 points, 10 rebounds and zero assists. "[The Hoosiers} have a player that they can run offense through, that can generate points on every possession, and, as of right now, we don't have that. We don't have that in the post."
As I wrote Wednesday morning, it's not time to hit the panic button on North Carolina quite yet because a lot of us did that last winter and ended up looking foolish when the Tar Heels eventually evolved into one of the nation's best teams. I'm not going to make that mistake again. However, there's no denying UNC is off to a rough start despite returning four starters from last season's team that went 11-1 in a late 12-game stretch and advanced to the title game of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. The Tar Heels are now 5-3 this season with zero notable wins and losses to Indiana, Alabama and Iowa State. On Wednesday, they trailed Indiana by as many as 15 points and never got closer than six in the second half of a lopsided contest that provided the Hoosiers with their first win of the season over a team ranked in the top 30 at KenPom.com. That's among the reasons Indiana is up to No. 7, and North Carolina is down to No. 25, in Thursday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings.
Things don't get much easier for UNC this weekend. Up next for the Tar Heels' is Sunday's ACC opener at Virginia Tech. That's another road game against a top-40 KenPom team that could result in a fourth straight loss and then possibly lead to the removal of North Carolina from the Associated Press Top 25 poll on Monday despite the fact that the Tar Heels were No. 1 in that poll just last week.
Top 25 And 1 rankings
|Sir'Jabari Rice finished with 19 points and five assists in Saturday's 91-54 win over UT Rio Grande Valley. The Longhorns' next game is Thursday against Creighton.||--||29-9|
|Marcus Sasser finished with 25 points and four assists in Tuesday's 100-52 win over Norfolk State. The Cougars' next game is Saturday against Saint Mary's.||--||33-4|
|Zach Edey finished with 25 points and eight rebounds in Wednesday's 79-69 win at Florida State. The Boilermakers' next game is Sunday against Minnesota.||--||29-6|
|Oumar Ballo finished with 30 points and 13 rebounds in Wednesday's 81-79 win over Creighton. The Wildcats' next game is Thursday against Utah.||--||28-7|
|Reece Beekman finished with 18 points and five assists in Tuesday's 70-68 win at Michigan. The Cavaliers' next game is Saturday against Florida State.||--||25-8|
|Tristen Newton finished with 13 points and four rebounds in Sunday's 71-53 win over Iowa State. The Huskies' next game is Thursday against Oklahoma State.||--||31-8|
|Trayce Jackson-Davis finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds in Wednesday's 77-65 win over North Carolina. The Hoosiers' next game is Saturday at Rutgers.||9||23-12|
|Creighton allowed Arizona to shoot 52.9% from the field in Wednesday's 81-79 loss to the Wildcats. The Bluejays' next game is Thursday at Texas.||1||24-13|
|Ricky Council finished with 27 points and three rebounds in Monday's 74-61 win over Troy. The Razorbacks' next game is Saturday against San Jose State.||1||22-14|
|Julian Strawther finished with 23 points and nine rebounds in Sunday's 88-84 win over Xavier. The Zags' next game is Friday against Baylor.||1||31-6|
|Mark Sears finished with 24 points and five assists in Sunday's 103-101 4OT win over North Carolina. The Crimson Tide's next game is Saturday against South Dakota State.||1||31-6|
|Antonio Reeves finished with 18 points and five rebounds in Tuesday's 60-41 win over Bellarmine. The Wildcats' next game is Sunday against Michigan.||--||22-12|
|Terrence Shannon finished with 17 points and seven rebounds in Tuesday's 73-44 win over Syracuse. The Illini's next game is Friday at Maryland.||--||20-13|
|Santiago Vescovi finished with 16 points and five rebounds in Wednesday's 76-40 win over McNeese. The Vols' next game is Sunday against Alcorn State.||--||25-11|
|Jalen Wilson finished with 22 points and six assists in Monday's 87-55 win over Texas Southern. The Jayhawks' next game is Thursday against Seton Hall.||--||28-8|
|Kyle Filipowski finished with 16 points and seven rebounds in Wednesday's 81-72 win over Ohio State. The Blue Devils' next game is Saturday against Boston College.||1||27-9|
|Caleb Grill finished with 16 points and five rebounds in Wednesday's 63-44 win over North Dakota. The Cyclones' next game is Sunday against St. John's.||1||19-14|
|Donta Scott finished with 18 points and five rebounds in Tuesday's 79-54 win at Louisville. The Terrapins' next game is Friday against Illinois.||2||22-13|
|Tolu Smith finished with 12 points and eight rebounds in Monday's 74-54 win over Omaha. The Bulldogs' next game is Saturday against Mississippi Valley State.||2||21-13|
|Olivier-Maxence Prosper finished with 24 points and five rebounds in Tuesday's 96-70 win over Baylor. The Golden Eagles' next game is Saturday against Wisconsin.||2||29-7|
|Baylor finished with 20 turnovers and 12 assists in Tuesday's 96-70 loss at Marquette. The Bears' next game is Friday against Gonzaga.||2||23-11|
|Jaime Jaquez Jr. finished with 27 points and seven rebounds in Sunday's 81-60 win over Bellarmine. The Bruins' next game is Thursday at Stanford.||2||31-6|
|Wendell Green Jr. finished with 22 points and four rebounds in Sunday's 65-60 win over Saint Louis. The Tigers' next game is Friday against Colgate.||2||21-13|
San Diego St.
|Nathan Mensah finished with 18 points and six rebounds in Tuesday's 72-69 win over UC Irvine. The Aztecs' next game is Friday against Occidental.||2||32-7|
|North Carolina finished with just five assists in Wednesday's 77-65 loss at Indiana. The Tar Heels' next game is Sunday at Virginia Tech.||6||20-13|
|Tre Mitchell finished with 17 points and eight rebounds in Sunday's 84-55 win over Florida. The Mountaineers' next game is Saturday at Xavier.||NR||19-15|