NCAA Tournament Round Of 16: #1 Indiana Vs. #4 Syracuse
- CoachingTom Crean has done a sensational job restoring the Hoosier program from the gutters of Kelvin Sampson, and he made a Final Four with Dwyane Wade and Marquette. This year looks to be his coming-out party.With three Final Fours and a national championship, Jim Boeheim has been around longer and has more success to show for himself. In terms of in-game tactics, it’s pretty close.
- OffenseThe Hoosiers play fast, and they find the bottom of the hoop often, tallying a fantastic 80 points per game on 48.6 percent shooting. Cody Zeller is a college superstar with a versatile game, and Victor Oladipo is freakishly efficient.C.J. Fair, James Southerland and Brandon Tiche are all capable scorers, but Syracuse is prone to offensive cold spells, such as the 12-minute field goal drought in the second half against Cal.
- DefenseDespite the virtuosity of the Hoosiers offense, the defense also made plenty of noise this year. This is especially impressive considering how much they push the ball forward, and it’s a testament to how well-organized they are.The Orange’s specialty, Boeheim’s crew keeps opponents in check by forcing bad shots through the 2-3 zone. Had it not been for the D, Syracuse would have surely crumbled against Cal in the second half.
- Bench DepthWill Sheehey plays an integral role in the Hoosier rotations, and he definitely made his presence known in the tourney; so far, he’s averaging 12.5 points in 24 minutes per game.In the Cal game, it was backup center Baye Keita who delivered in a big way, tossing in seven huge free throws and pulling down four offensive boards. Cuse is counting on him far more than any other bench player.