Never been an advocate of fouling the 3-point shooter when the game is on the line.
However, after watching the conclusion of last Saturday's game in Bloomington, Ind., between Kentucky and Indiana I may have to give it some serious thought.
With 5.6 seconds remaining in regulation, Kentucky led by two points and had two fouls to give as Indiana brought the ball downcourt. Christian Watford positioned himself at the wing just beyond the 3-point arc and as time expired drained the game-winner.
Pandemonium followed as a sea of red flooded the court. Never seen such jubilation for a regular-season game. Especially as early as mid-December.
Usually, I say make the shooter prove themselves. Especially if the difference is three points. But in this case, Kentucky committed a serious blunder. Granted, two defenders were hightailing it toward Watford. But their distraction did not cancel out the fact Watford was able to get a clear look at the basket.
Common sense says foul before the shot goes off and precious time ticks off the clock. According to Kentucky coach John Calipari, he instructed his players to follow that gameplan, but they failed to execute.
I remember several years ago covering a boys basketball game at Parkersburg Catholic High School between the Crusaders and Williamstown. With the Yellowjackets trailing by three and less than three seconds remaining in regulation, Rodney Shawver buried a 3-pointer to force overtime.
Williamstown eventually won, 64-59. Not to second-guess coaches (because they know more about the game than I do), perhaps sending the Yellowjackets to the free-throw line would have been the more logical choice. Then again, you take the risk of fouling in the act of shooting.
As 3-pointers go, the percentage of misses outranks the percentage of makes. Conclusion: Take the risk and bombs away.
No. 1 LSU meets No. 2 Alabama in the Allstate BCS National Championship Game on Monday, Jan. 9 in New Orleans.
Even if Alabama wins, regardless of margin, I would split my vote. Just because Team 'A' beats Team 'B' in a rematch which results in a split, there is no justification to automatically award Team 'A' the championship.
LSU defeated Alabama 9-6 during the regular season, and another victory over the Crimson Tide legitimately gives them the title. Should Alabama come out on top, I would hope the BCS rankings take into account it's not about timing - rather the overall picture.
LSU should not be penalized for losing its only game on the final night of the college football season to an Alabama squad which has already suffered one defeat.
Here's another argument favoring a playoff.
Contact Kerry Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org