Posted March 14, 2013

Richmond Finds An Outlier Scenario In The “Fouling When Up 3″ Debate With Loss To Charlotte

Atlantic-10, conference tournaments, March Madness, NCAA Tournament
Richmond's Cedrick Lindsay looks distraught after some controversial officiating cost the Spiders. [Mike Lawrie/Getty Images]

Cedrick Lindsay looks distraught after some controversial officiating cost the Spiders. [Mike Lawrie/Getty Images]

The debate has raged all season as to whether a team is better off fouling the opponent when up by three in the final seconds to deny a possible game-tying 3-point attempt. Ken Pomeroy blogged last month that defending rather than fouling may actually win slightly more of the time, but there’s no 100 percent dead-set answer. It depends on game situation, opponent, how good your team is on the glass, etc.

I’m pretty sure no one discussed the “Get T’d up boxing out for a rebound on the first free throw” scenario, but Richmond tried that one out today to disastrous results in the first round of the Atlantic 10 tournament.

Leading by three with under five seconds left, Richmond fouled Charlotte, but on the first free throw, Spiders big man Derrick Williams was called for a technical foul for shoving a 49er (h/t @TheBigLead) on the boxout. Charlotte made the second regular free throw and then, because the play was called a technical foul and not a player foul, Charlotte got to a) choose the free throw shooter and b) then got possession of the ball. The 49ers made both free throws to take a one-point lead and Richmond was then forced to foul.

It just got worse from there. On the subsequent play, Richmond was called for fouling a player attempting a 3-point shot after he put the ball up when contact arrived. Then Richmond head coach Chris Mooney lost it and got T’d up twice and was ejected from the game.

The 49ers had seven more free throws coming and made enough to eventually win 68-63. The final tally: 11 free throws shot in the final five seconds of a game, and an eight-point swing. Oh yeah, the Over/Under was 130.5. Seriously.

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5 comments
MarkBritten
MarkBritten

This needs to be investigated imho. Not saying it was fixed, but given what happens, that needs to be ruled out.

TravisBrown
TravisBrown

The Richmond coach was right to question the officials when they called that a shooting foul. No way he was planning to hoist a half-court shot in that situation, he threw it up after he drew the contact. And I didn't think he went "berserk." He just couldn't be out on the floor. Don't know what he said to get tossed.

JeffStivenson
JeffStivenson

Williams did foul that guy. He threw the guy down to the floor. So it was at least a common foul. So they would've had three more free throws anyways. The fact is, Williams didn't need to throw the guy off, and Mooney went berserk. Richmond deserved what they got. There's no grave injustice here. I had no dogs in this fight, but the refs didn't cost Richmond the game.

bithomas2
bithomas2

If Charlotte had hit all of their free throws, it would have been what, 12 points in 3 seconds?  That's just insane!  I'm glad some other guys at the office had tuned in for this ending, otherwise I would have missed it.

fallsdownstairs
fallsdownstairs

Thanks for a great recap.  We were 4.7 seconds from the season being over and get to play on.  Wow.  #GoNiners