A little late, but I thought I would just talk a little bit about the game over last weekend's Elite Eight game between Duke and Baylor. The big talk was about how Duke was going to able to beat Baylor's 1-1-3/2-3 matchup zone. Especially when you compare how Kentucky fared against West Virginia's 1-3-1. In the end, Duke just hit some big shots, especially down the stretch to take over while Kentucky couldn't buy a 3-pointer if their life depended on it.

A couple of articles, this one from ESPN, this one from CBS Sports, have described Baylor's zone as a version of UNLV's Amoeba Zone used by Jerry Tarkanian back in the day. I posted a long while back on the Amoeba Zone. It certainly looked similar especially when they would trap the post on the catch from the pass from the corner.

But for the most part, I thought they played it more like a normal 1-1-3 zone, but with alot of matchup up at the top of the key to ensure they got good ball pressure. I also posted on the 1-1-3 matchup zone earlier last year. The keys to the 1-1-3 matchup zone that I posted were:

1. Apply tremendous ball pressure at all times.
2. Sprint to coverage areas with strong closeouts and hands held high.
3. Push the ball to the sideline alleys and corners.
4. The closest player to the ball takes the ball handler.
5. There always must be a player in the low post and high post.
6. All five players are required to rebound.
7. Once the ball is forced to the sideline, stay on the player’s “high hip” in order to keep the offensive players from reversing positions and dribbling to the other side of the court.
8. The defender stays on the ball until called off by a teammate.
9. All players must communicate verbally for this defense to work.

I thought Baylor played their zone defense well, but in the end, I thought Duke was able to rebound, and shoot the ball when it counted. It wasn't pretty, but zone offense doesn't usually end up looking pretty anyways.

Ironically, West Virginia coach Bob Huggins also has a 1-1-3 zone in his back pocket, and he's used Jim Beilein's 1-3-1, as recent as last game. But WVU is good enough M2M to matchup with Duke, which is what I expect them to play most of the game in the Final Four.