Thursday, February 20, 2014

Fouling when up by three at the end of games


I have held out on this for a couple days for various reasons, mostly because I've been busy, and partially because I have had no motivation to write anything, but now is the time to do it. On two occasions this season, there have been end of game situations when Villanova was up by three points and it may have been prudent to foul before a shot went up. They fouled before a shot on neither of those occasions, and at Marquette in January, Ryan Arcidiacono made an awful foul on a three point shot, leading to Marquette forcing overtime. On the converse, Villanova won one of its biggest games last season precisely because their opponent did not foul and they were able to make a three. I know that people will bring up the four point play debacle against Rutgers in 2011, but that is such a fluky play that it shouldn't even factor into this discussion.

The key is to increase the number of variables needed for the other team to win. Making a free throw, intentionally missing the second and then getting a rebound is such an improbable situation that when there is less than ten seconds left and you can do it, you have to foul.

Thank god Villanova took care of business at the end of the game.

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