The 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament heads into the Final Four stage. As cinderella team Loyola-Chicago (#11) gets ready to face Michigan (#3) on one side, and Villanova (#1) gets set to face fellow top seed Kansas (#1) on the other; one thing remains a constant.
The Golden State Warriors’ of the NBA’s ability to spread the floor in unprecedented ways has spread to the College game.
The complete team play style of the Golden State Warriors has made its influence completely felt within the college game, as teams who can play position-less defense and offense have added dagger-like three point shooting to their offense. Within four years of the Golden State Warriors completely changing the team builds of the NBA across the league, the college game has begun to add very strong elements of the team from Oakland, California.
As teams like the Houston Rockets take the next logical step (mis-step?) of attempting more three point shots than two pointers in the 2017-2018 NBA Season, college rosters have taken similar steps in their final four runs.
All four teams in the Final Four feature teams that do not have a traditional big-man as the focal point of their offense. All four teams utilize fast moving, spread style, blitz offenses that can also guard almost every position on defense.
Truly, German Soccer of Bundesliga style of play has taken over the NBA. And in turn, it has taken over the college game of basketball. From Soccer overseas.
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Top seeded Virginia was ousted by University of Maryland Baltimore County (not University of Maryland College Park who has won a title before in 2002) from a barrage of double screens and flowing movement from players without the ball. An offensive design that allowed UMBC’s Retriever’s to shoot threes and easy twos in the paint that made top ranked Virginia’s defense seem like shredded paper. Much like the Golden State Warriors.
Success breeds followers. And several college teams in the US have learned that having giant one dimensional big man is not the sure-fire recipe for success it once was. In fact, it is almost a liability.
Loyola-Chicago, this year’s Cinderella team, has managed to take the very same unselfish style of team play to the Final Four.
And as Oklahoma learned, the solo isolation style of basketball has also probably gone the way of the Dodo Bird.
The Warrior’s revolution of Basketball continues. And everyone else in both the NBA and college game, that refuses to recognize that passing the ball is infinitely faster than dribbling the ball, will be left in the dust.