OK... Maybe I was a little over cooked with the praise of the UND Mens Basketball team.
Turns out they are not as invincible as I thought they were. Don't get me wrong... I'll stick to my claim that this is the finest basketball team ever at the University. I still think they will be somewhere real fun at the end of the year but a hill to climb... a roadblock in the path... was identified this weekend in Oregon.
It turns out... The Zone defense is Kryptonite. Man to Man this team can play with anyone I believe. However... Cal-Poly, Oregon and Pacific U. realized that and didn't cooperate and went to the zone and that proved to be a problem.
The Zone defense for those who don't know what it is... The Oversimplified explanation of it is this... The player guards an area and not a single player. If the ball comes into your zone... You step out and guard that player and ball... When the ball leaves your zone... you go back to watching the action in your assigned zone.
The Zone defense tends to force a team to shoot from the outside more because it's much harder to set a screen on a player to free up the open shot since the defense will simply rotate a defender into where the ball moves. You can't move defenders around by moving your offensive players around like you can with a man to man.
You have to be more patient and move the ball around to beat it and according to reports that I read from Oregon. UND didn't have the patience to make the extra pass and they didn't have the outside shot falling to take advantage of the zone. It led to a rough weekend as UND was beaten by double digits in 3 games against very good teams.
It certainly didn't live up to my lofty expectations. I was noticing better long range shooting in the 3 games I watched going into Oregon. It's a group of Seniors who have beaten a zone before and know how to do it. I didn't think a zone would knock them down and it did.
No worries... Coach Jones and the players are probably aware that the zone is going to be very popular against them for a while since it worked so well in Oregon. Future opponents will have seen the tapes. The coaching staff and players will be lazer focused on working against the zone and will start beating it. Once that happens... The Man to Man ability will still be there because of their athleticism and the team will become bullet proof. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.
And in Football action... The Minnesota Vikings beat Chicago... I gotta say that I want the Vikings to win and I want them to lose... I'm so conflicted right now... I don't even know how to watch the Vikings anymore. A win is what you want from your team but a loss gives them a better draft pick and a chance at a franchise QB for the future.
I found myself fighting with myself during the game. Here's an example of the thoughts in my mind watching during sudden death overtime.
C'mon Walsh... Split those uprights... Yes it's good... Game over... We win!!!
Dang it... That drops us down the draft board... We'll get like the 5th pick overall now... I don't want them to win anymore. Let's get that 1st pick with it in sight...
A Flag? A facemasking call... on a FG... Who's the idiot who grabbed a facemask... We had this game won. Now Walsh is going to have to kick a longer FG to win this one... 55 Yards... Wait... Wait... it's 3rd down... They can still run a play and get closer. Why is Walsh still on the field???
OK... Wait... this is good. Let them kick from over 50 yards on 3rd down. Chicago will get the ball in real good field position if they miss and we can lose and get a better draft position.
They are bringing the offense on the field to run a play... Thank God!!! No sense in trying one from that distance on third down... They can try to get closer... Well that didn't work... They lost yards on the play... It's going to take a 57 yarder to win it now.
Wait that's good...
Walsh can make this... He's got a great leg... It's no good... Dang it... not even close.
Of course... The Vikings went on to win the game despite the missed FG. As you can tell... I have no idea how to watch the Vikings anymore. The Vikings would draft 5th right now if the season ended today. If they would have lost to the Packers and Bears the past two weeks instead of a win and a tie. We would be tied with Houston for the 1st pick overall... Yet the Win still felt pretty good.
I'm probably gonna have to stop watching them or it's going to be a short drive to the mental institution for me.