Wow, what a day in the NCAA tournament. From the WKU/Drake game to Gonzaga/Davidson to UConn/San Diego and finally Villanova/Clemson. It was probably one of the greatest single days I've ever seen since I've been watching the tournament. Just tremendous basketball all around.

There are so many great highlights and plays to analyze from those great games which I will at a later day, but I decided to make this post about the great game between Oklahoma and St. Joe's. Oklahoma did a great job in the first half running their half-court offense. They were beating the double-teams down low on Griffin and they ran the 1-4 high set a few times and it was very effective. Oklahoma looked kinda shaky when St. Joe's turned up the full-court pressure in the 2nd half, but they did manage to overcome St. Joe's surge. Here are some clips of that 1-4 high they ran,

The 1-4 High Double Screen:

I'm a big fan of both the 1-4 high and 1-4 low sets. Oklahoma runs this set play out of the 1-4 high very well. It's basically a UCLA cut to a double ball-screen with both screeners rolling. Here is the UCLA cut,

Then the double-ball screens,

What happens is that X4 follows O4 through the lane, X1 stays in the lane to protect against O4 cutting thru the lane. X5 switches on the screen by O5 to cover O2 on the dribble. X2 gets caught fighting over top of the double screens. This leaves O5 and O1 basically wide open on the weak-side.

Longar (O5) gets the pass and makes a nice layup,

In the second clip, St. Joe's anticipates the first ball screen, so what O2 does is jab step up (to fake X2 high), then drive down baseline towards the hoop,


Oklahoma faces a really tough test against Louisville on Sunday. The Sooners did struggle against the pressure of St. Joe's in the second half, and Louisville's press is probably twice as hard to break. But if Oklahoma can settle down, break the press, and execute in the half-court, they could upset the Cardinals, but it's not going to be easy.

For a great video on the 1-4 high offense, check out Tubby Smith's DVD on the 1-4 High Offense. As always, please check out the X's and O's Basketball forum to talk hoops and exchange notes and ideas.