The Sweet 16 doesn't preclude upsets, it's just that they are far more prevalent in earlier rounds. If Indiana is going to skirt the rules and deliver a stirring upset over Kentucky, they have a ton of work to do.
The epic rematch of David and Goliath is set for Friday night—only, it is Goliath that will have another chance to put down the little guy that embarrassed them a couple months ago.
Kentucky has been starving for Round 2 and that means Indiana is in for a world of hurt. The Hoosiers are no slouches, and they can pull off two miracles in one season. They will just need a great deal of breaks and some strategy to stick to in this game.
Here are some of the easiest things Indiana can do to get over on Kentucky.
1. Don't Be Afraid of Some Paint:
This is the first and most obvious issue facing Indiana, so we might as well get it out of the way now. Kentucky has this guy named Anthony Davis, and by all accounts he is pretty good—if best in the nation is a label that impresses you.
In their last encounter, Indiana was able to put Davis on the bench for a good portion of the game because of foul trouble.
The same can happen tonight, even if it is unlikely. Since that game, Davis has made it a point to behave himself and has not fouled more than three times in a game.
There is no sense in not trying, though.
Cody Zeller is having a fine tourney and should threaten for another double-double tonight. Feed the man until it's obvious the efforts are futile, because Davis on the court is bad news for Indiana.
2. Shot Must Be On:
This may be the biggest factor going into tonight. Indiana can bomb it from distance like no other team.
In their last meeting, Indiana was good for 60 percent from three-point land, including one miracle shot by Christian Watford to close out the game.
Kentucky does a ton of things well, but closing out on the perimeter is not one of them. If the Hoosiers are hitting early and often, plant your butt in your seat because we are in for a memorable finish.
3. Get to the Line:
We could talk about turnovers and rebounds, and those are all important. However, Indiana is a good free-throw team that can actually win this game at the line.
This hearkens back to the paint from No. 1, but Indiana can't settle for perimeter shots all game. They have to force the issue and try to draw some foul on the interior.
Slowing down the game and making it about the charity stripe benefits Indiana.