We almost saw the third of the 30+ game home winning streaks die last night, and it would have followed the precedent set by Southern Illinois and Illinois of it ending against a much inferior opponent. Gonzaga got by Saint Mary’s 62-61. It’s not often I feel confident enough to rip a coach’s decision, but SMC coach Randy Bennett made a blunder late in the game.
With 1:53 left, the Gaels had just made a bucket to take a five point lead. Adam Morrison was waiting at the scorer’s table to check in. Each team had two timeouts, and Bennett elected to use his after the made basket. But why? You know Mark Few has to get Morrison back in the game, so let him use it.
The result of the saved timeout for Gonzaga was that Few was able to make offense for defense substitutions for Morrison by using his two timeouts. Gonzaga scored on each of its three remaining possessions, and Saint Mary’s didn’t on its remaining two. Gonzaga may very well have won anyway, but you know the Gaels would have liked to see Ammo stay on the defensive end of the floor for at least one of their offensive possessions.
In other news, the inbox is filling up with people wanting me to prove/disprove whether officials working Duke games are required to be accredited by the American Express Coach K School for One-Sided Officiating. I would gladly do that, except it seems impossible. How do we distinguish the free throw advantage that Duke’s style of play naturally gives them from the free throw advantage Coach K-paid refs give them?
In other words, how do you tell the difference between Duke shooting 65% more free throws than its opponents and UConn shooting 67% more than its opponents? Both certainly get the benefit of the whistle based on having elite programs with intimidating coaches. Just like every dynasty-type team has had before them. It’s hard to tell from the stats if Duke is getting more than UConn. Both squads have a long way to go to match the ‘92 Duke team that had a whopping 79% more FTAs that its opposition.
I’ll lay out some more detailed stats on fouls and Duke later in the week, putting them into context nationally. Then I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. But I doubt your mind will change regardless of which side of the argument you defend now.
Line o’ the Night
FG 3pt FT Reb Min M-A M-A M-A O-T A F S TO BLK Pts P.J. Tucker 40 6-13 0-0 6-7 5-17 2 1 5 3 0 18 Result: Win. Texas 65, Texas Tech 44.