Central Connecticut State University tried as hard as they could to give the University of Maine men’s basketball team an early Christmas present but Maine wouldn’t accept it.
Why because CCSU up 3 points and less than 7 seconds to go in the regulation time did not foul and allowed Maine’s Sergio El Darwich to make a three pointer at the end of regulation when they were up 3 with 2.6 seconds left off an out-of bounds play on the sideline where the benches are.
Then at the end of the first overtime CCSU is again up 3 with 3.9 seconds to go and again they allow Darwich to make another 3 pointer to tie the game off an out-of-bounds play from the other side line.
Both shots came from a Maine timeout.Both were well designed plays to get Darwich his threes
All CCSU had to do in both situations was to foul the in bounds player as soon as he caught the ball. Then Maine would have had to do 4 things just to get a chance to tie the game.
1. Make the first foul shot
2. Miss the second foul shot intentionally
3. Get the offensive rebound
4. Make a 2 to tie and a 3 to win
As a coach I would always foul up 3 and less then 7 seconds to go in the game.
I believe this because learned this from all the games I have seen with that being the situation in high school, college or the Pros since the 3 point shot has come into the game at all levels, only once have I seen a team foul in this situation. I have never seen a game tied up either and I have watched 1000 of games since the 3 came in.
However, I have seen a lot of games forced to overtime and then lost in overtime because the team up 3 and under 5 seconds to go did not foul and the opponents made a tying 3 pointer. Then the team that did not foul would more times than not would lose in overtime as the team that tied the score certainly gained some momentum for the overtime.
Another great example of this was when the San Antonio Spurs where ahead of the Miami Heat in the NBA Championship series 43 games to 2 several years ago. The Spurs were up 3 with under 7 seconds left and did not foul and Ray Allen hit a three from the right corner to tie the game and it went to overtime and the Heat prevailed and forced a game 7 which the Heat won. Had the Spurs fouled they would have won series 4 games to 2. Coach Popovich when asked why they didn’t foul paraphrasing he said that I don’t believe in fouling in that situation. It only cost the Spurs an NBA championship. Then they went on an lost a regular season game the next year, and if I remember correctly the same way.
Must be an NBA philosphy as neither Popovich or Marshall didn’t foul.
Also saw Bobby Knight lose a couple of games the same way during the regular season when he was at Texas Tech.
I realize that I am just a hick from the sticks of Maine basketball wise, but to me by examples mentioned above that it is 4 times smarter to 1 to foul in the up three on defense and less than 7 seconds to go in the game.
4 things have to happen to tie or win a game when fouling and only 1 thing has to happen if you don’t foul and that is to hit a tying three and then go on to win in over time more times then not.
I think odds of 4 to 1 are better than 1 to 4.
That’s my foul, foul, foul, story and I’m sticking to it.
I’ve been often accused of being a very unorthodox basketball thinking person, so if fouling in this situation is unorthodox, then I plead guilty and so be it.