Its also extremely difficult to get fast break points, as the Cavaliers will eschew the offensive boards in order get back into defensive position. The easiest way to defeat the pack line is to go bonkers from three, but if you shoot a lot of threes and aren't hitting, you play right into the defense's hands. To win a game against a team like this, you have to do three things well--hit enough outside shots to start to draw the defenders out of the pack line a bit, get some turnovers (especially against a turnover prone team like Virginia) and run on those, using the opportunity to both get easy points and get the tempo up. Finally, you have to match Virginia's defensive intensity. They haven't allowed more than sixty points in a game on defense yet. Offensively, they will try to control the pace by going deep into the shot clock, but if you play fundamental defense, you can force them into bad shots with the shot clock running down. If our big guys can hit the offensive boards, that would really help as well. Unfortunately, Virginia's defensive position deep in the key makes the latter extremely difficult.
For information about Virginia's personnel, see the post directly below this. Given time constraints, I am unable do do the usual four factors preview. Just know that Virginia is one of the best defensive teams in the country, shoots almost as well as we do, turns the ball over a lot but not quite as much to us, and does an even better job than us of getting to the line, which is saying a lot as we do very well at that. They don't get offensive rebounds, but a lot of that is by system as they all get back, and they allow next to zero offensive rebounds because of their good position. Its a very difficult matchup for Oregon. A win would have me instantly feeling a lot better about this team.
This is your open thread.