Thursday night (1/22/15) at the end of the Ohio State vs Northwestern game, the Buckeyes led by 1 with 0.9 on the clock heading to the free-throw line to shoot a 1-in-1. The commentators posed the question, do you miss on purpose knowing if Northwestern secures the rebound they have to heave a full-court shot? Or do you commit to trying to make both free-throws and give Northwestern a chance to run a play from out-of-bounds with a “dead clock”?

My opinion, you try to make the first and definitely miss the second. Here is my reasoning why:

What if you miss and Northwestern rebounds the shot and calls a quick timeout? Good question.

Why not make both free-throws to force the game into overtime?

While the odds are still in your favor and the only thing you risk by making both is going to overtime, I would much rather risk losing to a prayer with .4 seconds than giving my opponent a chance to hit a shot in short time to force overtime. As I’ve sure you’ve all witnesses at some point in your career, those buzzer beating shots to force overtime can be huge momentum swings!

What do you think? Leave a comment below, I would love to hear your thoughts!

One Response

  1. Make the free throw. You can’ t lose in regulation. With 0.9 seconds you still have to catch and shoot in one motion. Hard to do catching face away from the basket which most likely would happen. It would take as much a miracle to do that as rebounding a miss and throwing it the length of the floor. But with missing the free throw, the miracle would cost you the game.

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