I haven't had the opportunity to watch as many college basketball games as I've wanted to this year because of teaching, coaching, etc.. but I did catch the second half of this great matchup between Wisconsin and Duke earlier. I knew the game would be close, because of the patient ball-control swing offense Wisconsin uses. I caught these 2 great defensive sequences late in the game which show the importance of 1v1 defense, and specifically the importance of footwork. The Badgers got 2 huge stops late to seal the upset win, take a look:

In this first sequence, the Wisconsin player (in white) uses his feet and body to force the ball handler to turn back towards the middle. The defender uses great lateral quickness to again beat his check to the spot, hands straight up in the air, and the offense takes a contested shot,

In this second sequence, just a magnificent display of defensive slide technique and 1v1 defense, as good as I've ever seen,

The best part of both sequences is the fact that they happened at the end of the game when you normally expect guys to be breathing hard, hands on their knees, etc... But as all of us coaches know, this is exact moment (end of games) when we need our players to be player their best defense.

I think sometimes there is a tendency to over-emphasize help defense. I think help defense is important, crucial even, but more fundamental is the need for each of your players to be accountable individually on defense. To be extremely serious in being good 1v1 defenders, and to dedicate the necessary time and to take pride in not letting your teammates down when it counts the most.

For more info on creating great M2M defenders, take a look at Bobby Knight's 2-pack DVD on the Complete Guide to M2M Defense. The legendary Coach Knight is currently an analyst for ESPN Sports.