To Foul or Not to Foul (Up Three, Late, in College Basketball)

Up 3, Do You Foul?: Here’s an interesting analysis about whether or not to foul when winning by three late in a college basketball game. According to the numbers based on games in 2009-2010 (there were 443 instances of a team down three during their last possession), “teams that did not foul won slightly more often.” As for the teams that actually scored the three points? “Teams that intentionally foul allowed the opponent to score three 12 times out of 52. Teams that did not allowed the opponent to score three points 89 out of 391 times. Those percentages are almost identical: they both round to 23% of the time.” In the rec league playoffs tonight, we won’t foul up three in the final minute. [Harvard Sports Analysis]

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