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4.6.13 Michigan v. Syracuse

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No matter what happens at this point, this season has been a wild success. I have enjoyed watching Michigan roll through these opponents, and barely survive against Kansas in a way I never expected.

Syracuse is good. We may lose. But being in the Final Four, and knowing we have a pretty good shot at playing for a championship is awesome. Congrats to coach and everyone else. What a turn around.

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No matter what happens at this point, this season has been a wild success. I have enjoyed watching Michigan roll through these opponents, and barely survive against Kansas in a way I never expected.

Syracuse is good. We may lose. But being in the Final Four, and knowing we have a pretty good shot at playing for a championship is awesome. Congrats to coach and everyone else. What a turn around.

Well said. As lazy as Michigan looked at times during the season they have been just the opposite in the tourney. I attribute that to McGary starting, he has played tremendously and has brought tons of energy.

I think we can beat Syracuse. They have that stupid 2-3 zone, but we have great ball handlers and hopefully a hot Stauskas. Michigan/Louisville final is my prediction.

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I'm a Syracuse fan, who has not been particularly impressed by their play all season. I'm surprised they have made it this far, but my bracket has them going to the championship, so I'm picking them again.

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I'm a Syracuse fan, who has not been particularly impressed by their play all season. I'm surprised they have made it this far, but my bracket has them going to the championship, so I'm picking them again.

Why do they play a stupid zone?

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Why do they play a stupid zone?

This is a real question I have too. I thought you only played zone when you had inferior athletes?

Speaking of zones, I think we've seen the 1-3-1 only once this tournament.

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Boeheim gave a great explanation the other day about that actually. Basically, zones take less practice time to teach and also, you can do things that nobody has seen or at least is ready for if you devote your full attention to it. I'd say its been pretty successful with it. Its the reason they're here IMO. Also, they arguably do have inferior athletes. Its not like they're putting many good NBA players in the league.

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Boeheim gave a great explanation the other day about that actually. Basically, zones take less practice time to teach and also, you can do things that nobody has seen or at least is ready for if you devote your full attention to it. I'd say its been pretty successful with it. Its the reason they're here IMO. Also, they arguably do have inferior athletes. Its not like they're putting many good NBA players in the league.

That's interesting since Beilein has said he doesn't use the zone much because they don't spend enough time practicing it which is required to be effective. I also heard Boeheim say part of his all zone decision was that college teams don't have enough shooters to exploit it. I get their length adds a dimension but Michigan will be a challenge. Indiana's PG was a freshman, Burke will be better in finding opportunities.

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well, the media seems to be all over 'Cuse for this zone. Haven't we heard this for a week and a half now? Everyone only talking about who Michigan is playing. If we can't beat a gimmicky 2-3 zone with inferior athletes, we don't deserve the championship game.

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I dont think this game will be close, Michigan has been smothering gimmicks all tourney long.

This will be a 10ish point game for Michigan, they are just better.

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You beat a good zone defense by shooting them out of it. I have to say, I think we match up well with Syracuse. As long as we shoot okay, it should be a good game.

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Boeheim gave a great explanation the other day about that actually. Basically, zones take less practice time to teach...

I believe he said that, but I don't agree with it. Kids learn how to play man-to-man defense from the time they start playing basketball. By the time you get to the collegiate level, you are just tweaking technique mostly (unless you were a terrible defender to begin with). Most players aren't exposed to a zone until high school, and even then it is hit and miss, depending upon the coaching. There are responsibility variations in a zone defense, which can differ by your coaching, and a cohesion needed with other defenders that you can only get from lots of repetition/practice.

I always liked running a zone defense when I played. It was more oppressive and created a lot more turnovers. And it left the defense in better position to blockout & rebound, in my opinion. But clearly there will be open outside shots any time the offense can swing the ball across court quickly.

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You beat a good zone defense by shooting them out of it. I have to say, I think we match up well with Syracuse. As long as we shoot okay, it should be a good game.

Typically but Syracuse by all accounts contests the outside shots you usually get. The guy guarding Burke will have 6" on him. I do think that if Michigan moves the ball and remains patient they should be able to get the looks they want.

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Typically but Syracuse by all accounts contests the outside shots you usually get. The guy guarding Burke will have 6" on him. I do think that if Michigan moves the ball and remains patient they should be able to get the looks they want.

If they contest at the 3pt line and the guy is 6" taller, Trey has to be able to beat him off the dribble. When they collapse to help, somebody is open.

Beilein is no dummy as a coach and his view is he doesn't want to play the zone when his athletes are good enough, which is why M's use of the zone has gone done as they have gotten better. That's telling me something - but you do have to sink your jumpers. Go cold shooting and you are toast.

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If they contest at the 3pt line and the guy is 6" taller, Trey has to be able to beat him off the dribble. When they collapse to help, somebody is open.

Beilein is no dummy as a coach and his view is he doesn't want to play the zone when his athletes are good enough, which is why M's use of the zone has gone done as they have gotten better. That's telling me something - but you do have to sink your jumpers. Go cold shooting and you are toast.

I don't disagree in theory but Syracuse does a good job of taking away the passing lanes and when I've watched they didn't tend to sag off the 3P threats. People talk about their length because it's created issues. Did you watch them play Indiana?

.

Don't get me wrong, I think Michigan has the PG, shooters and quicks to beat the zone. They just can't lose confidence and start pressing or taking bad shots if they are frustrated early.

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.... Did you watch them play Indiana? ..

.

.

No, but it's true that usually no-one gets to the final four who isn't a threat. I sort of like these games between very dissimilar teams as they are really unpredictable.

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No, but it's true that usually no-one gets to the final four who isn't a threat. I sort of like these games between very dissimilar teams as they are really unpredictable.

I like these games too, particularly seeing what Michigan has come up with against what will be 4 straight supposedly good defensive teams.

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Why do they play a stupid zone?

I don't know, but it's been working. Either that or they have been running into a lot of cold shooting teams.

I agree with nastradamus that they are not particularly athletic compared to other tournament teams, so maybe that's the reason.

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Reports coming out that Burke and Hardaway have already decided that they will be going pro after this season. No surprise at all from Burke. I was hoping Hardaway would stay for his senior season, but it is what it is.

It does kind of bother me that this news is coming out two days before their Final Four game. I'm not angry that they are leaving and wish them the best, but they really couldn't have waited a few more days before talking about signing with agents, ect? It looks like their minds are elsewhere, and not focused on the game Saturday.

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Hardaway Sr. and Burke's mother denied that they have made a decision. Either way, they have not done anything but keep their eye on the next game. Burke in particular has explained his decision making timetable. They don't, nor does the team, deserve the distraction.

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