How to Pull an Upset in the Opening Round of the Tournament

You are a low seeded team 5th 6th 7th or 8th and you are looking to pull that upset in the opening round. Here are some steps to consider if you want that big surprising upset. If you have not played the team in the regular season that you have an advantage already. If you are playing a team that has beaten you twice then you have got to make some changes unless they were close games.

They probably have scouted you or have traded tapes so they know your personal and preferred style if they did not play you in the regular season..

If the team has more athletic talent then you do and they probably do or they wouldn’t be a higher seeded team, YOU MUST TAKE THERE ATHLETICISM AWAY FROM THEM, by the following methods:

1. Good Shot Selection…no forced shots

2. Patience on offense and run a continuity offense against man to man defenses looking for layups or open shots,,,no shots off the dribble

3. Change your defense. Play man to man if you are primarily a zone team and vice versa if you are a zone team. Try a Box and One or  Diamond an one if a team has one outstandiung scorer. Make the other players beat you. If the team has two outstanding offensive players think about using a triangle and two.

4. Surprise has to be on your side. The pressure is on the high seed team because they are supposed to win especially if you are a 6 7 or 8 seed team. You want them to have to reaxct to something they are not prepared for.

If you had to play a prelim game on Wednesday then you only have 1 2 or 3 days of practice to make a solid game plan if you are a B team or the C team and A Teams that play on Friday or Saturday or Monday.

You have got to make your team believe that the game plan will work. You must ask them do they want a real chance to win or do they want to play the way they have all season and have a much greater chance of it being one and done.

IF YOU GET AHEAD AND THE DEFENSE IS PLAYING A ZONE, think strongly about holding the ball and making them go man to man and then you can run 4 corners or a continuity set and take nothing but layups and foul shots..

If a player does not follow your instructions and takes a shot that you know you don’t want him to take, then you have got to yank that player immediately so the other players get the message that you mean for them to stay with the game plan. And that goes for the entire game so long as you are in the game score wise.

Think about it like this. it is a 6 and 6 game. If you can be no more than 6 points down with 6 minutes to go you are really in the game and the pressure is growing on the favorites.

If, for some reason you are playing man to man and the game gets away from you and you go down by 10-15 points. TRY THIS. GO ZONE and see if the offense will keep shooting perimeter shots and try to blow you out. Some teams get greedy and they MAY SHOOT YOU BACK INTO THE GAME.

Upsets can happen, but you have to make them happen and not hope that the higher seeded team has a bad night.