Syracuse prepares for 3rd round game vs California

JOSH DUBOW AP Sports Writer Published:

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Jim Boeheim's Syracuse teams have thrived on their zone defense for decades, using long athletic players to disrupt opposing offenses for more than 900 wins and a national title.

California coach Mike Montgomery has been more of a proponent for man-to-man defense over his stellar coaching career, using the zone more as an occasional change-up than a base defense.

Montgomery has even jokingly mocked his friend, Boeheim, over the years for his reliance on the zone. So Boeheim got a piece of vindication when he saw the 12th-seeded Golden Bears (21-11) stay almost exclusively in a zone defense in a win over UNLV that set up a matchup with No. 4 seed Syracuse (27-9) in the third round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday.