What a difference the 3-point shot has made in basketball. This, coupled with the North Carolina State NCAA Championship Game when they fouled the opposition and made up a huge margin to win the game at the buzzer, has led to a total change in how you play the 4th quarter or second half of a ball game. Before the 3-point shot, most coaches knew by the 4-minute mark to the end of the game how many points they needed to secure the win. If you could get as much as a 6-point lead, you could slow the game down enough to make this hold up. Today teams will not allow you to do that. They will foul you and force you to give up the basketball and then will bomb threes on their end of the floor. Most of you probably can’t remember a game in which a team may be forced to make 15-20 free throws in the last 4 minutes of a game to hold a lead. This basically means that no lead is ever truly safe in basketball. Before the North Carolina State incident, no one thought of fouling that much to get back into the game. How many remember South Dearborn making up a 30-point deficit on East Central a few years back? I do not have any statistics to back this up, but I would be willing to bet that 90% of the time this doesn’t work. All it does is add 15-20 minutes to the 4th quarter, upset the referees, and drive the fans batty. Most of the time an 8-10 point deficit becomes a 20-point deficit before it is over but there is always that 10% that keeps coaches trying.
With the first Wisconsin basketball game in the books, the Badger Herald sports team reflected Thursday about the Badgers’ first performance, while looking ahead to this weekend’s football matchup with Purdue.