5 Things to Know About: Indiana

Syracuse returns to the nation's capital for another opportunity to achieve a victory in the Verizon Center. Standing in their way is Indiana. Meet the Hoosiers inside.

As a 1-seed, you are regarded as being one of the tougher opponents to face and a team expected to advance through the tournament.

The Indiana Hoosiers, a top seed, join two of the other 1-seeds, the Louisville Cardinals and Kansas Jayhawks, as teams who have achieved a place in the nation's Sweet 16.

With the Hoosiers preparing to take on the Orange of Syracuse, here is what you need to know about the match-up:

1. Their top performer: Cody Zeller

Zeller averages just under 17 points to go with eight rebounds per game, leading all Hoosiers in both categories.

The seven-footer keeps all of his game inside the arc, making a little over 57% of his attempts from the field.

Zeller has recorded double-digits in scoring in 30 of Indiana's 35 games, including the last seven.

Typically the taller a player is, the less likely they are to make free throws, but Zeller defies this notion. He has connected on just shy of 76% of his attempts from the charity stripe heading into this match.

2. On the boards:

Three Hoosiers average at least six rebounds per game apiece.

Junior guard Victor Oladipo and senior forward Christian Watford join Zeller as the most active players on the glass for Indiana. Combined, the trifecta average over 20 rebounds a game.

All three attain more of their boards on the defensive end. Of the three, Zeller and Oladipo, standing at 7'0" and 6'9", respectively, are the best on the offensive glass, with Oladipo being the most balanced of this group between offensive and defensive rebounding.

Boxing out for Syracuse and grabbing offensive boards for second-chance attempts as well as positioning well for defensive rebounds to take away opportunities from Indiana will be imperative against such a tenacious rebounding Hoosiers' squad.

3. Height disadvantage:

Indiana guards, freshman Yogi Ferrell and senior Jordan Hulls, both stand at 6'0".

For Syracuse, sophomore guard Michael Carter-Williams stands at 6'6", with senior guard Brandon Triche at 6'4".

With both Carter-Williams and Triche liking to drive to the basket, this advantage over their defenders allows them to see the court better and by sure physicality, provides them clearer opportunities at their jump shots attempts as well.

Hulls and Ferrell add just under 18 points per game to the Hoosiers' offense plus a little over seven assists combined, so Carter-Williams and Triche must also use their length on the defensive end to block shooting opportunities and passing lanes from inside the Orange 2-3 zone.

4. Beyond the arc:

Hulls and Watford are the best options for Indiana from three-point range, with both making at least 46% of their tries.

Both players have launched at least 120 attempts from long range apiece, depicting where the majority of attempts from distance typically come from.

Oladipo is also better than 40% from beyond the arc.

Syracuse forwards, junior C.J. Fair and senior James Southerland, must find good looks for themselves as well as contest the attempts of Watford and Oladipo, with both of them providing the best defensive options versus these shooters, each standing at 6'8" for the Orange.

5. At the charity stripe:

In a tight match-up with the Temple Owls a game ago, Indiana utilized the line to gain the lead and keep it, inside the final two minutes of the game.

Six Hoosiers who have attempted more than 40 free throws this season are 75% effective or better. Sophomore guard Remy Abell joins Watford, Ferrell, Hulls, Zeller, and Oladipo, with Watford being the best option making just under 82% of his freebies all the way down to Abell who has connected on exactly 75% of his attempts.

With so much success at the line for Indiana, Syracuse will need to be productive on their free opportunities, preventing themselves from leaving points on the charity stripe.

Despite scoring 26 points on the free throw line in their previous win against the California Golden Bears, the Orange left 15 other points off their score, including missing the front end of 1-and-1's in the second half, which aided in keeping California in the game.


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