Syracuse Orange Successful In 2013 NCAA Tournament Despite Ugliest Basketball Ever

By Joseph Nardone
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

A college coach’s job is to win games as well as developing the hearts and minds of his or her players (someone should tell Mike Rice that). They are not there to coach and entertain us at the same time. While it would be nice to be able to watch a game that is fun, it isn’t a coaching requirement  That brings us to Syracuse Orange coach, Jim Boeheim.

Zone. 2-3 zone. Zone defense. Yuck, I have had enough talking about this zone already, although, it helps bring me to my point. Syracuse’s use of their successful zone scheme has led to some of the ugliest basketball games the world has ever seen. And guess what? Boeheim likes it that way. He does not care how he got the win as long as his team keeps advancing in the NCAA Tournament.

Nah, he doesn’t care that you or I are not a fan of watching his team force opponents into shooting under .30 percent from the field.

Not only has Syracuse held teams to shooting  .28 percent from the floor, but heaven forbid if they rely on jumpers, the percentage drops all the way to .17 percent. That is making slightly less than two out of every 10 jumpers a team takes. Not only is that a sure-fire way to lose a game, but makes a basketball contest very hard to watch on your good ole picture-box.

Boeheim is going to do what has to do to win this game. I do not blame him one bit for trying to capture his second National Title by relying on is favorite defensive scheme. I do blame him, however, for all the “zone” talk we must endure — as if he has somehow reinvented the wheel rather than just having two really big guards who make the middle of the zone nearly impossible to get the ball to.

How do we beat the zone? Hit jumpers or getting the ball to the middle of the floor. Oh, did I say we?

Yes, that is because I would like to watch a basketball game in which teams are able to put the ball in the bucket and are not confused by something that is not as complicated as everyone is making it out to be.

Rooting against Syracuse because they are very good with their zone defense is a bad reason to do so. Still, as Boeheim is not responsible to make the games fun, and I do not have to be entertained by the way he wins.


Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone

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