Iowa State was quite good on offense this year. KenPom's adjusted offensive efficiency ranked them 6th. Defensively the Cyclones weren't as good, ranking 72nd. That number is too low for a team that has Final Four aspirations. It is also particularly troubling because of that high offense number-good offense typically leads to better defense, since high percentage transition opportunities are limited by made shots and free throws. As you can see from these Synergy stats, Iowa State really, really struggles to guard balls screens. A few minutes of clicking through Iowa State's possessions where they have to guard Ball Screen's (Or "OB's", short for "On-Ball Defense") and a problem shows up immediately. In an effort to avoid the scrambling backside ball screen rotations that characterize Tony Bennett's Virginia teams, Rick Majerus' SLU teams, or the Bulls, the team often tries to either "whip" (Go under a screen then jump back on top) at the top of the key, or down/ice (Push away from the screen) on the sideline. The icing strategy is a good one, when the execution is there. And going under a screen is fine on someone that can't shoot, like JP Tokoto. Poor technique and personnel choices limits the effectiveness of the strategy. Here, Monte Morris is trying to ice a side ballscreen, when Marcus Paige, a a fantastic shooter, takes one dribble to his (non dominant) right hand, Morris jumps too far below the ballscreen. Paige comes back off, gets an open look with a late contest from Morris, but can't knock it down. Morris goes under a middle OB against Marcus Paige. Bad idea. While hedging, flat hedging, trapping, or another strategy may force the defense into scramble mode, a wide open pull up jumper from Paige at the top of they in rhythm is probably the best shot this UNC team as currently constituted can get. And switching against a guy like Markel Brown who is a capable shooter but prefers to go right to left cross is fine. But you have to switch "up." By staying so flat, Kane gave an NBA player like Brown all the momentum he needed to attack a backpedaling Kane. And on this possession, Matt Thomas doesn't even bother to try to ice or whip the screen. Against Marcus Paige, not knowing how you're guarding him on ball screens is not preferable. But all is not lost. When Iowa State iced properly, they were able to force tough shots outside of the restricted area. With Iowa State's mobile bigs, there's no reason this shouldn't happen every time. And this is what a proper defensive rotation out of ice looks like. To improve their defensive efficiency, Iowa State has to improve their ability to guard OB's. If they tweak technique on ice-ing, and find an alternative to whipping OB's at the top of the key against two of the five best PG's in the country, they can have as good of a chance as anyone at finding their way to a Final Four.