The game will not be televised, but can be streamed online at btn2go.com.
A game originally scheduled for Dec. 7, the game now serves as a midweek game for IU during its final bye of the conference season.
IU’s first bye of the conference season came a week and a half ago, and IU Coach Tom Crean didn’t want two week-long breaks so close together in the schedule.
“When the schedule all came down, you looked at it and said, ‘This is not right. We are not going to have three games in three weeks,’” Crean said. “That just didn’t make any sense for our team, and (NCCU) was the team we were able to move.”
The Eagles are 14-12 on the year and 8-5 in the MEAC. The Eagles are the third opponent from the MEAC that IU will have played this season (Savannah State and Howard), with the Hoosiers winning the first two games by an average of 43 points.
This year marks the third straight season the Hoosiers and Eagles have met, with IU winning the two prior meetings by 23 and 16 points.
Tonight’s game differs not only in terms of where the game falls on the schedule, but because NCCU has the luxury of Kansas State-transfer Dominique Sutton.
“They have one of the toughest competitors that will come through Assembly Hall in Dominique Sutton,” Crean said. “I don’t think there is a question why NBA people will be here watching him tomorrow night.”
The task of defending Sutton will be on the top of the priority list for the IU defense.
Throughout much of the offseason, the players talked about the emphasis placed on the defensive end of the floor.
That attention seemed to pay off when the Hoosiers went undefeated through the nonconference portion of their schedule.
As it heads outside of the conference for the final time in the regular season, IU will look to improve a defense that is 11th out of 12 in points allowed during Big Ten play.
The Hoosiers are coming off a 78-66 loss to Iowa.
Instead of having a week off until Minnesota on Sunday, the IU players said they are pleased to get back on the floor this evening.
“It’s real important, especially after a tough loss like that, getting us looking forward to playing again and leaving it all on the floor again, because last time we played, we felt like we didn’t,” sophomore guard Victor Oladipo said.
In a season filled with milestones, the Hoosiers can reach another one tonight, as a win would mark the first undefeated nonconference schedule since the 1989-90 season.
“We know if we don’t bring our hardest or come out and play to the ability we know we can, there’s a chance we could get embarrassed, even,” junior forward Derek Elston said.
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