The Indiana Hoosiers began the season ranked No. 1 in the country and finished the season with a No. 1 seed. The Hoosiers were placed in a difficult region with No. 8 seeded North Carolina State/No. 9 seeded Temple and potentially No. 4 seeded Syracuse in their path to the Elite Eight. However, the No. 5 seeded team is who Indiana should be afraid of meeting in the Sweet Sixteen – the UNLV Rebels.
Indiana has defeated top teams from top conferences all season long. They played in one of the most difficult conferences in the country and were prepared for teams from the Big 6 conferences, like North Carolina State and Syracuse, that they might face in the NCAA Tournament. However, if UNLV can make it past Syracuse, the Rebels could cause huge problems for the Hoosiers.
UNLV’s star freshman forward Anthony Bennett would wreak havoc on the Hoosier’s interior. Indiana has proven in the games that it has lost this season that it is beaten inside and not from three-point range. Anthony Marshall, the Rebels’ senior guard, is one of the most well rounded players in the country; he averages 10 points, four rebounds and nearly six assists per game. The Rebels have the tools to knock off Indiana.
If UNLV can get past Syracuse, the Rebels may be the most equipped team in the East region to defeat the Hoosiers. Tom Crean has to prepare his team for the possibility of playing UNLV because in an NCAA Tournament with a history of huge upsets by underdog teams, like VCU and Butler, no team wants a potential “Cinderella” team in the Sweet Sixteen. UNLV has the tools to be the 2013 NCAA Tournament’s “Cinderella” team.