Hoosiers a Final Four favorite

With Cody Zeller, the Hoosiers have a preseason favorite for player of the year honors. AJ Mast/Icon SMI

Leading up to Midnight Madness in October, ESPN Insider's "Countdown to Madness" series is previewing the top five seeds in each of the four regions in Joe Lunardi's preseason 2013 NCAA bracket. To read about the key stats and freshman impact for each team as the previews are published, plus get expert predictions from Jay Bilas, Fran Fraschilla and Lunardi, click here. This is the entry for the Indiana Hoosiers, No. 1 in the East (Washington, D.C.).

The keys: Offensive efficiency and depth

Stat to know: 120.6

Indiana was one of the nation's top offensive teams last season, and it doesn't appear to be any different in 2012-13. Tom Crean returns most of his rotation from a Sweet 16 roster that led the Big Ten in scoring (77.3 points per game), field goal percentage (.492) and 3-point field goal percentage (.431) and ranked fourth in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency at 120.6.

Unfortunately for their conference foes, the Hoosiers might be even better this year when they add an exceptional freshman class to their returning wealth of talent. Yogi Ferrell, a playmaking point guard, joins versatile wing Jeremy Hollowell. Indiana also solidified its frontcourt of the future with super athletic forward Hanner Perea and 7-foot center Peter Jurkin.