The importance of the Syracuse 2-3 zone defense was made very clear to coach Jim Boeheim on the night of November 4, 2009.
The zone never left the bench, as the Orange played man-to-man the whole game. A game won by the Division II Le Moyne Dolphins, 82-79. It was Syracuse's first exhibition loss in six years.
Later that season, Joe Boeheim told the Dan Patrick Show (via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times) the story of his then-nine-year-old son Jack's reaction when he got home after the loss: "Dad, you stink. Your team stinks. How can you lose to Le Moyne?"
Now we know why Boeheim is so devoted to the zone. Well, that and the fact that he coaches it better than anyone else.
The Orange are preparing for the NCAA tournament and there is no question that they will go as far as the zone takes them.
How can the zone take the Orange deep into the tournament?
There are four ways and I've listed them in the order that I think reflects their importance.