Two weeks ago tomorrow night, if Villanova had used the strategy of fouling North Caroina when the ball was being dribbled across mid court with Nova up 3 and on defense and less then 7 seconds left (they certainly should have fouled the dribbler) which would have forced North Carolina to make the first foul shot, miss the second intentionally, get the rebound and then score in order to tie up the game and send it to overtime.
However, as like many teams in this situation they did not foul and Carolina’s Marcus Paige made one of the most difficult double pumped acrobatic 3 pointers in the history of college basketball to tie the score at 74 all with 4.7 seconds to go in the game.
However, Villanova used a play that they practiced everyday at the end of practice as they (Kris Jenkins) got the ball from out of bounds at the endline into the hands of their best playmaker point guard Ryan A. (Why NC didn’t double team Ryan Arcidiacono by using the defender guarding Jenkins to help make the double team on Ryan A. and force Nova to get the ball to another player I don’t know if we will ever know that answer and also by doing the double team the NC Defender would have been in backcourt where he could have picked up Jenkins and not leave hin unguarded until he got the ball from Ryan A.) and set up Jenkins for the winning shot as it left his hands at the .06 mark for the game winner.
However, if Villanova had fouled when they should of WE WOULD NEVER HAVE SEEN THOSE TWO GREAT 3 POINT SHOTS IN THE LAST 4.7 SECONDS OF ONE OF THE BEST AND MOST EXCITING NCAA FINAL GAMES IN IT’S HISTORY.
Of all the games I have seen, coached, reffed or watched I have never seen a team have a game tied up when the team ahead and 3 points up fouls with a player dribbling the ball under 8 seconds to go in the game, but I have seen many times when they don’t foul but give up a three pointer that ties the game and sends it to overtime and the team that should have fouled loses more times then they win in that situation.
Just ask the San Antonio Spurs two years ago in game six with the Miami Heat when they where winning the series 3 games to 2 and they did not foul and Ray Allen hit a three to tie the game 6 with a three and go on to win it in overtime. Then the Spurs went on to lose Game 7 and the NBA championship just because they didn’t foul.
Also, the Spurs didn’t lesrn their lesson as last year they lost a game in the same situation in the last 10 games of the regular season that dropped them from 2nd to 6th in the seedings and they got the much tougher LA Clippers in the firt round and got beat in the best of 7 series.
Closer to home I also saw this same situation in the Eastern Maine Tournament where a team did not foul in the same situation and lost in overtime and was eliminated from the tournament.
Saw another high school tourney game where a team didn’t foul and the opponents got off the three, but missed, but they still gave the offense a chance to tie the game. Guess what these two games were played on the same night at the same time at two different sites. I finished watching one game and saw it and then changed channels and with 30 seconds saw it happen again.
This is the coaches responsibility to make sure their teams foul in this situation.
Whether it is a famous NBA coach or a high school coach here in Maine in this situation and not give the opponents a chance to tie the game with a three.
Teams have to practice this so that they are prepared to execute this foul when the player is dribbling the ball across the mid court line. The defender should try to steal the ball and if he cannot steal it cleanly then he should foul immediately after not getting the steal, this way the dribbler is not in the ach of attempting a 3 point shot.
The question is not Shakesphere’s “to be or not to be”, IT ISN’T EVEN “TO FOUL OR NOT TO FOUL, ……..”IT IS TO BE AND TO FOUL”.