Ten minutes of basketball.
Indiana outscored North Carolina 22-3 in the first 10 minutes of the second half, erasing all hope of a Tar Heels victory and sending out a reminder that it is indeed still the team to beat in college basketball.
The remainder of the half was a formality. Indiana never looked back and won 83-59. It wasn’t as if the top-ranked team in the land was playing Chump State at the Assembly Hall in Bloomington.
North Carolina came in ranked No. 14 in the nation. It is a program rich in basketball tradition. But the Hoosiers made the Tar Heels look average at best as their lead grew to 68-40 during a backbreaking run that was orchestrated with such ease.
You can point to a lot of reasons for Indiana’s success in this early-season showdown. Rebounding, defense, a balanced offensive attack. It all made a difference.
But lost in the mix of another day at the office by Cody Zeller (20 points, eight rebounds) was the play of Jordan Hulls. The senior guard was sensational. He scored 13 points, fueled by three treys, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out eight assists. Hulls also tallied a pair of steals.
Zeller is obviously going to be the go-to guy this season. He is the player with all of the preseason hype, but the value of Hulls cannot be underestimated.
His effort and intensity are just as important as his ability to score, distribute and defend and if the Hoosiers are to live up to their billing as the best team in the country and win a national championship in April, Hulls will no doubt play a big part in it.
Brian Lester is a featured Big Ten columnist and college basketball writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993 or send him an email at email@example.com.