The first few days of the NCAA tournament are always the most exciting but also the most overwhelming, too many games, too many teams. There were some great games and even an upset or two. The only game I watched beginning to end was between LSU and Butler. I picked LSU to be the sleeper (if you can call them that) of the tournament and they played very well in their narrow first round win over a good Butler team.

I just wanted to highlight these plays because I think it shows what LSU does best. They are a great defensive team in the half court that rebounds extremely well. There defense then in turns feeds their offense off the primary break which they run very efficiently. Take a look,

Most of it was self-evident so I don't want to go into any unnecessary breakdowns. But one thing I wanted to point out was the doubling and jamming of the defensive rebound by Butler. In fact, Butler ran this throughout the game. The more and more I think about it, jamming the rebounder is only effective if the team you are jamming is less athletic than you are,

I'm not sure if it was a strategic decision by Brad Stevens to jam the defensive rebounder, or if the players just spontaneously did it themselves, but LSU capitalized on it at least 3 or 4 times in the game. If you do the math, that's like 6-8 points. The final score was 74-71 for LSU. Those points could have made the difference between an LSU win or a Butler win.


If you look at the various 1v8 games coming up: Louisville vs OSU/Siena; UConn vs Texas A&M; Pitt vs Okla St./Tenn; UNC vs LSU; I'd have to say LSU probably has the best chance at the upset. I've watched LSU several times throughout this season and I am very impressed by them. Coach Trent Johnson inherited a very talented, experienced team and he's won big games at Stanford before, and I think he can win a big game in the next round or 2 or 3.

If you like Coach Trent Johnson and his LSU Tigers, then check out Trent Johnson's DVD on Half Court Quick Hitters. Be sure to head over to the X's and O's Basketball Forum to discuss this and more of your favorite basketball topics.