Indiana Hoosiers Basketball: Breaking Down Indiana vs VCU

Eric SmithCorrespondent IIIMarch 16, 2012

PORTLAND, OR - MARCH 15:  Cody Zeller #40 of the Indiana Hoosiers dunks the ball in the first half against the New Mexico State Aggies in the second round of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Rose Garden Arena on March 15, 2012 in Portland, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

VCU is well on their way to another Final Four run for the second consecutive season. They took Wichita State totally out of their game last night, and held them to a season-low 25 points in the first half.

The Rams use a high energy kind of basketball on defense and play fundamentally sound on offense. That makes it extremely hard on teams they play against.

In order for Indiana to advance to Atlanta for a Sweet 16 matchup, they must do a number of things right tomorrow.

First, they must handle VCU's pressure with ease.

The Rams will bring pressure, pressure, and more pressure. They almost always trap the first pass on offense, and will try and wear teams down with constant pressure throughout the entire possession.

Indiana must move the ball quickly so they avoid the trap and get the open shot. If they hold onto the ball too long, VCU's athleticism will be able to trap the ball and more than likely force a steal.

Another thing Indiana must do is defend the whole shot clock.

VCU runs constant motion, uses pick and rolls and moves the ball nicely. They will be fundamentally sound and find the open man.

If Indiana doesn't account for the open man, VCU will make them pay with their dangerous shooters.

They have done this all season, and did the same last night.

Lastly, Indiana must manage their fatigue well.

As stated earlier, VCU will wear you down with the constant pressure and get in your head. The Hoosiers must take this in stride, not get out of hand, and make good decisions.

Once fatigued, teams make dumb mistakes and make a lot of turnovers. With VCU capitalizing on their possessions, any open possessions can be detrimental.

If Indiana can handle those three keys and make their shots, they will advance to Atlanta next weekend, and end VCU's run.