March Madness: Free Throws Help Kentucky Upset Louisville in Sweet 16

harrison-kentucky-free-throwAfter recently retooling our website, one of the biggest points we make is that, since clutch games are decided by only a few points, free throws can win or lose the game, and make the difference between whether or not a team advances. And what better example of that than a the recent Sweet 16 game yesterday between Kentucky and Louisville for this year’s March Madness? Favored Louisville was upset by Kentucky, in large part due to free throw shooting. NJ.com has the details:

Aaron Harrison hit a 3-pointer for the go-ahead score with 39 seconds left and Julius Randle made a pair of clutch free throws to lift the fantastic freshman of Kentucky to a 74-69 victory over their in-state rivals.

We’ll be keeping our eyes on the free throw shooting for the rest of this series. It wouldn’t surprise us to find that free throws play a key role in more close games as we come down to the final four.

March Madness’s “First Four” Kicks Off, Will Free Throws Play a Factor?

March madness public domain

Tonight is the “first four” of NCAA’s March Madness. This means that the usual 64 teams have been upped to 68 and… well, I’ll let the sarcastic commentators at Guardian Sports explain:

Q:These “First Four” games are just play-in games, does the NCAA think we’re stupid?

A: Yes.

Early favorites include the Florida Gators, Arizona Wildcats, Virginia Cavaliers, and the Wichita State Shockers. One of the biggest concerns people have voiced is that people will confuse Cavaliers coach Tony Bennet with the singer Tony Bennet.

In terms of free throws, UCLA is looking strong – they even got some props from the student paper at rival USC, whose students are usually more concerned with planning how to graffiti the giant bear statue on the UCLA campus. The Bruins were able to beat the Arizona Wildcats during the season, will they do it again?