Despite Hype and Talent, Indiana Not Overwhelming Favorite For Title

By Brian Lester
David Banks – USA TODAY Sports Images

Indiana appears to have a pretty nice path laid out for the road to Atlanta, at least on paper.

But I don’t know about the Hoosiers. I wonder if they can live up to the hype that has followed them around from day one of this season.

Look, the Hoosiers are good. Real good. They have the talent to make a run at the national championship and a coach, Tom Crean, who is certainly capable of making sure they get there.

But you do have to wonder about the Hoosiers a little bit. They won the Big Ten regular season championship, but they fell short of their bid to win the conference tournament crown as well.

Indiana also lost to Wisconsin twice and had senior night ruined by Ohio State. In its last 10 games, it is 7-3.

I don’t think Indiana loses in the opening round. But the second round?

It could happen.

It won’t happen, though, if Cody Zeller plays like one of the best players in the nation and dominates from a scoring and rebounding standpoint.

It won’t happen if Victor Oladipo continues his upward surge of success and thrives in his role as a player the Hoosiers have counted on so many times before over the course of this season.

Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford need to be at their best as well, as does Derek Elston.

The Hoosiers need their offense to be clicking on all cylinders. They need their defense to be overwhelming.

If it all comes together, if the Hoosiers play like the team they are capable of being, they will be in Atlanta and they will win a national title.

You just have to wonder if the Hoosiers can be that team.

Brian Lester is a college basketball writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993.

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