March Madness Actions, 2021

Updated: Apr 2

These are some of my favorite actions I've observed in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. We'll keep a running Blog Post to keep them in one place.


The NCAA Tournament is the Super Bowl for basketball coaches obsessed with the X's & O's of the game. Over the course of four weekends, you are getting exposed to every conceivable style of play across the nation. We will witness teams finding success in a variety of ways including; 5 Out Spacing, Ball Screen Actions, Space & Pace, Elite Zone Offense, Inside Play, and so on. If you are anything like me you are watching these games looking for any interesting actions that might catch your eye. Over the next four weekends, I'm going to use this post as a central location to keep all the actions that I put into diagram form.


Most coaches probably have a short checklist for the kinds of actions they are attracted to when watching these games. As a high school coach, I'm always going to be more attracted to simple concepts that could be easily taught instead of the really complex actions with lots of false movement. My short checklist for an action catching my eye would probably include:

  1. The Action is Simple

  2. The Action is Hard to Guard

  3. It is done with 4 or 5 Out Spacing

  4. Fits Seamlessly into that Team's System


Fast Model Play Diagrams

If you have a Fast Draw account you can find all of these sets draw up in my Fast Draw Profile. All you have to do is click on the play and then download it to your own Fast Draw Playbank.



Colorado

Colorado put on a three-point clinic with 16 3FGM vs Georgetown in their first-round victory. They used their transition game alongside the Spread Ball Screen and DHO elements to really give Georgetown's defense a hard time. Several actions really caught my eye in this game including an ATO, BLOB, and a Horns Entry into Spread Ball Screen.

Colorado Actions:

Double Back Screen -

This was a really slick ATO that Colorado used to get a lay-up right before the half.


Sequence:

1 - Slot to Wing DHO

2 - Single Down on Backside

3 - PG off Pin Down

4 - 2 Clears out

5 - Swing Pass

6 - Back Screen Lay-Up


Colorado picked up a really demoralizing lay-up off this set.



Horns, Spread P/R -

Colorado employed a ton of Spread P/R and this Horns Set was a great way to disguise the entry into that action.


Sequence:

1 - Horns Cross-Screen

2 - Slot to Wing DHO

3 - Spread P/R




Box, Spread P/R BLOB -

This was a great BLOB set that flowed easily into one of their main offensive elements; the Spread Ball Screen. They started in the Box Formation and then flowed in a 14 Low Lob to initiate the action.


Sequence:

1 - Box Formation (Corner Cuts)

2 - Lob Entry

3 - Back Screen for Inbounder

4 - 1/5 DHO

5 - Roll & Replace Action


Wichita State Action:

Point, Post Isolation -

Really liked this action from Wichita State to get their post player isolated on the backside.


They used Point Action as the entry into the play, and then used one of the most popular actions in this year's tournament, Chicago Action. From there they cleared the backside and isolated their 5 Man with his defender.


Sequence:

1 - Point Entry

2 - PG Down Screen

3 - Chicago Action

4 - 2 Clears Out

5 - Ducks In