clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NCAA Tournament 2018: How Will Duke Deal With The Syracuse Zone?

You could reverse the question too.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Syracuse v Duke
DURHAM, NC - FEBRUARY 24: Teammates Matthew Moyer #2 and Frank Howard #23 of the Syracuse Orange go after a loose ball against Grayson Allen #3 of the Duke Blue Devils during their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 24, 2018 in Durham, North Carolina.
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Duke plays Syracuse next as you probably know and that means dealing with Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone. It’s not a standard 2-3 zone because he recruits really long players for it and extends it farther than most coaches.

The Chronicle’s Sameer Pandhare takes a look at the zone and how to attack it.

As a number of people have pointed out this week, and as Boeheim has pointed out himself, Syracuse’s offense has struggled this year and could be a fatal flaw vs. Duke.

Since playing Duke on February 24th, Syracuse has scored 44 (L), 70, (L), 55 (W), 73 (W), 59 (L), 60 (W), 57 (W) and 55 (W).

Since the ‘Cuse started in the First Four, they have played one more NCAA game than Duke.

Work it out and it’s 57.3 ppg in tournament play.

In Duke’s first two games, the Blue Devils have averaged 88 ppg.

In the previous meeting, Duke won 60-44 and if Syracuse could hold Duke to 60, they’d have a chance, obviously.

In the first game, Duke had just gotten Marvin Bagley back after his knee sprain. He was effective but hadn’t been incorporated back into the scheme as he is now.

Nonetheless, Syracuse did limit Duke’s offense. Will it be enough this time?

We’ll take a closer look in our normal preview.

If you're going to shop Amazon, please start here and help DBR and while you're there check out Barry’s book Across The Line