March Madness #XsOs – Plays of the Elite 8

By Wes Kosel

After all the madness, we are down to just four teams. Some surprises along the way, but North Carolina, Villanova, and Oklahoma didn’t surprise too many getting to Houston. Even though Syracuse had not played well coming into the NCAA Tournament they have played their best basketball when it counts most, earning themselves a spot in the Final Four.

To preview the Final Four matchups, let’s take a look at some of the best plays that got each of these four teams a win in the Elite 8.

Villanova Wildcats

Horns Curl Roll

Villanova used this play against Kansas in the NCAA Elite 8. They roll the ball screener off of the other horns post into the lane. Then once the ball is in the post, the opposite big dives down the lane for a dunk.

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Oklahoma Sooners

Zone Overload Pick & Pop

Oklahoma used this play against Oregon’s match-up zone in the Elite 8. The Sooners overload the right side of the floor and set a ball screen on the left side. On the rotation and penetration, Oregon loses some of the Sooner players allowing for a tip-in dunk on the missed shot.

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Syracuse Orange

Double Down Action

Syracuse used this play over and over again in the game against Virginia. They keep a tandem of wings/posts together and have them run continuous down screens until something opens up. In this play, they iso after getting the ball to the right wing.

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North Carolina Tarheels

Down Stagger Flip

UNC used this play in the second half of the Elite 8 game against Notre Dame. They run a player off of a staggered screen then flip the cutter to set a down screen for the top screener.

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Wes Kosel is an assistant coach for men’s basketball under Head Coach Tom Billeter at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Kosel joined the staff at Augustana after serving two seasons as an assistant coach at Colorado College and before that spent time at Texas Lutheran University and Haskell Indian Nations University. Kosel has an undergraduate degree in Exercise Science from the University of Kansas and a Master’s degree in Physical Education from the University of Houston. He has coached summer AAU programs, volunteered with elementary and middle school basketball teams, and has worked basketball camps for various programs including the Houston Rockets, USA Basketball, University of Colorado, University of New Mexico, Air Force, University of Houston, Texas State, and Texas A&M Corpus Christi. He also founded his own coaching website,, where he shares plays, drills, and coaching notes.
March 26, 2016 – Anaheim, CA, USA – The Oklahoma Sooners begin their celebration after winning the NCAA West Regional Championship over Oregon at the Honda Center in Anaheim on Saturday… ///ADDITIONAL INFO: ncaa.0327 – 3/26/16 – Photo by PAUL RODRIGUEZ – Oregon vs. Oklahoma in the NCAA West Region Championship game at Honda Center. (Credit Image: � Paul Rodriguez/The Orange County Register via ZUMA Wire)

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