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  1. #41
    Someone in this thread made an interesting point that Butler maximized their opportunity here. They got the rebound clean and in the hands of the right player. He was able to dribble relatively unimpeded up the court, and the shot almost went in.

    Would we even have this thread if say, Singler was able to stay in front of Hayward, slowing him down and forcing a even longer, and contested shot? What if Howard had gotten the rebound and was forced to pass? etc. etc. We are looking at these probabilities based on the (almost) best possible outcome of events for Butler. There are many, many things that could have gone wrong to slow down Hayward just enough.

    I like the call the more and more I think about it. 3.6 seconds is plenty of time for an inbounds play.

  2. #42
    Agreed with DevilHorns above. I think if we take one more factor into account which, in execution, didn't happen for us, it makes the intentional miss a better statistical proposition. What probably shouldn't have happened was (i) Hayward getting the rebound uncontested, (ii) almost at the free throw line, with (iii) the opportunity to go to his right and shoot from halfcourt in 3 seconds after getting a screen. My first thought after the final shot clanged off was "they shouldn't get that good of a look under the circumstances."

    I think the basic decision was a good one, but I think Zoubek's missed shot should be lofted and aimed at the side of the rim, not ripped straight forward, and should go opposite where the most dangerous opponent is lined up. Banging it hard off the rim leads to unpredictibility, which does of course increase our chance of coming up with the rebound (game over), but in a situation where you're not sending anyone to really go after it for fear of fouling Butler, that's not much of a chance. As it is, we put Lance in the lane, but the way Butler set up, we could have prevented Hayward from ever touching the ball by simply putting Lance on the other side and telling him not to go for the ball but just to gently box out Hayward. If we force Howard to catch that ball, their odds of making a miracle shot are cut at least in half. Similarly, if Nored or whoever it was on the other side of the lane, gets it but gets it on the baseline instead of eight feet out, the buzzer shot is that much longer. Also, an arching shot leading to a high bouncing rebound allows Singler to get a running start toward a likely shot position after judging where it's going to land, rather than the ball ending up in a shooter's hands before anyone can even get moving on the perimeter.

    All in all, a lot more fun to discuss this as a purely academic item than in light of it mattering, right?

    FWIW, I think fatigue and momentum probably mattered in the decisionmaking, too. Butler's guys were tired, too, but our starters were out there the entire final 15 minutes and we had foul trouble. Had we been forced to overtime, the crowd frenzy would not have helped after we gave away a 5 point lead in the final 90 seconds of regulation. Regardless of the mental toughness of this team.

    Also, I'm not upset with Howard screening Singler and not getting called for it, in and of itself. Kyle wasn't going to seriously contest the shot, anyway, as he was a full step behind, not looking to risk a foul, and Hayward was going to his right. And no ref is going to call something off the ball in the deciding seconds. But that cuts both ways. What *#%$es me off is the way Howard launched himself at a player who was not in position to impact the shot, lowered his shoulder into his chops, and got away with it when under any other circumstance he gets T'ed up. And I think he knew it. He did not set up in Kyle's path and stand his ground. He sought out a moving defensive player and initiated contact, and made that contact violent. It was not a basketball play. It was a football play. A cheap shot that adds an unnecessary blemish to what was otherwise a clean and classy game.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reilly View Post
    Yes, I'm still defending the strategy if I believed the coach picked the strategy that I believed gave us the best chance to win. All the coach can do before the play is pick the path he believes gives us the greatest chance of victory.
    This is the heart of the controversy. I think the objective isn't to enhance the likelihood of success; it's to avoid catasthrophic failure. A buzzer-beater is catasthrophic failure; overtime means we play on. We can still lose, obviously, but we keep playing. But again, this approach doesn't consider the psychology of the team, which could change everything.

  4. #44
    The object is to win the game, not to avoid catastrophic failure. Period. Your point can still be accounted for ... use the formulas in my post, and jigger the numbers so Duke's chances of winning in OT are 10% due to their psychological state ... and continue with the analysis. Making the FT can still be the right call (I thought it was when I assigned values). The point, however, is to win.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starter View Post
    If that shot goes in, are you still defending the strategy? I guess you could, but it would be absurd. .
    It is NOT absurd to defend a failed strategy.

    Think about it this way. There is no approach to the situation that represents a 100% foolproof way to win the game. Therefore, all strategies are potentially subject to failure. So, by your logic, NO APPROACH can be logically defended.

    Does that make sense to you?

    What you're suggesting is that if an approach fails, it must have been the wrong approach. This doesn't make sense, because the approach has to be chosen before the outcome is known, and no approach is foolproof.

    The flip side of your statement that I quoted above is that all approaches that SUCCEED must be correct. In that case, why are you not wholeheartedly praising the choice that was made? It succeeded, right? And therefore it was a good strategy.

    You can't choose one side of the coin without choosing the other. So your statement is logically inconsistent.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPS View Post
    This is the heart of the controversy. I think the objective isn't to enhance the likelihood of success; it's to avoid catasthrophic failure. A buzzer-beater is catasthrophic failure; overtime means we play on. We can still lose, obviously, but we keep playing. But again, this approach doesn't consider the psychology of the team, which could change everything.
    The objective is ALWAYS to enhance the likelihood of success. Catastrophic failure and non-catastrophic failure are still failures. You go with the strategy that gives you the best chance to win (and honestly, I don't know which is better because it's so dependent upon probabilities of events for which I don't have strong estimates), not the strategy that minimizes your chance of losing in the most heartbreaking fashion.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starter View Post
    If that shot goes in, are you still defending the strategy? I guess you could, but it would be absurd.
    That's not a very sound argument in my opinion. You decisions based on the probability of an outcome. In either case, there's a chance of winning and a chance of losing. Ultimately, the outcome that occurs is just one of a nearly infinite number of potential scenarios that could occur. The resulting outcome does not prove that either strategy is right or wrong.

    It sounds weird, I know, but to analyze the decision you have to ignore the outcome and consider the probabilities of the various outcomes for each decision. There is an empirically correct answer based on the probabilities of the potential outcomes. I don't know which decision is correct, and to be honest I would say it is VERY difficult to confidently say which decision that is (it would require a lot of data and a lot of calculations). But that answer is the correct decision regardless of the subsequent outcome.

    You make a decision that maximizes the probability that you win, with the understanding that there is a probability of losing with any decision you make.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    That's not a very sound argument in my opinion. You decisions based on the probability of an outcome. In either case, there's a chance of winning and a chance of losing. Ultimately, the outcome that occurs is just one of a nearly infinite number of potential scenarios that could occur. The resulting outcome does not prove that either strategy is right or wrong.

    It sounds weird, I know, but to analyze the decision you have to ignore the outcome and consider the probabilities of the various outcomes for each decision. There is an empirically correct answer based on the probabilities of the potential outcomes. I don't know which decision is correct, and to be honest I would say it is VERY difficult to confidently say which decision that is (it would require a lot of data and a lot of calculations). But that answer is the correct decision regardless of the subsequent outcome.

    You make a decision that maximizes the probability that you win, with the understanding that there is a probability of losing with any decision you make.
    Yep. See my earlier post (#45 in this thread) for more details about this.

  9. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by rsvman View Post

    What you're suggesting is that if an approach fails, it must have been the wrong approach. This doesn't make sense, because the approach has to be chosen before the outcome is known, and no approach is foolproof.
    No, you might have missed it. I'm saying there was a better strategy to use, and that I was alarmed at the prospect of them opting to miss the free throw even before they did it. The logic of this strategy is inherently flawed because you're intentionally leaving the door open for you to lose, while the worst possible scenario would have been to go to overtime otherwise. (Or they could have fouled if Butler had been able to get the inbounds pass in cleanly, which would have made the chance of victory that much more, while considering their existing three-point lead)

    If this was the decision -- to intentionally leave an outcome on the table where you can lose the national title -- then yes, that would have been indefensible in the case of a loss. In fact, I believe it's very difficult to defend even though they won.

    But if there were truly mixed signals as BD80 pointed out there might have been, it would make a lot more sense for Krzyzewski than to have not made the obvious prudent call.

  10. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    That's not a very sound argument in my opinion. You decisions based on the probability of an outcome.
    Sure, but what's your probability of losing in regulation if Brian hits the second free throw? Pretty much zero. What's your probability if he misses it? With the ball in the air last night, I'd say considerably higher.

    What am I missing here?

    And I'll add that with no timeouts, it's not like they could have come up with some brilliant Bryce Drew-ian play off an inbounds. It's not like they'd get a markedly better look at a three if Zoubek had hit the shot. In fact, they would have had to find a way to get the ball to their best player, rather than having him get it himself and take matters into his own hands.

  11. #51

    Seth Davis's twitter

    I asked Coach K last nite about missing 2nd FT. Said he did not want OT: "This was a game u could not play things by the book."
    http://twitter.com/SETHDAVISHOOPS

    Personally, I liked the intentional miss, but it certainly was a gutsy call. At least we didn't fall back into a 1-3-1 zone a la Michigan vs Ohio St!

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starter View Post
    Sure, but what's your probability of losing in regulation if Brian hits the second free throw? Pretty much zero. What's your probability if he misses it? With the ball in the air last night, I'd say considerably higher
    But why does winning/losing in regulation ultimately matter? We still could have won/lost in overtime. Losing in regulation is no different than losing in overtime. The only consideration in the decision should be that we are deciding between a decreased risk of losing immediately and an increased risk of losing later. The only question is whether we decrease the risk of losing immediately more than we increase the risk of losing later.

    I'm on record as saying that I don't know which decision is/was the correct decision. I probably lean toward making that second free throw. But basing it on the outcome that ensued is not sound.

  13. #53
    A mathematical argument on K's decision put forth by the author of "Mathletics" and former Dallas Mavericks analytics person:

    http://waynewinston.com/wordpress/?p=558

    Basically you can go either way.

  14. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post

    I'm on record as saying that I don't know which decision is/was the correct decision. I probably lean toward making that second free throw. But basing it on the outcome that ensued is not sound.
    We're not going to agree on much here except for leaning toward making that second free throw. But I think we can agree on this: Thank God Hayward missed. I think I'm done with all this, it really is no longer important. I think the best thing is to enjoy a richly deserved and hard-earned championship.

  15. #55
    Why was Thomas not on the FT line to attempt to get the Off.Reb? Possibly, not to foul. All I know is that I wish Zoubs would of hit the 2nd FT, so 2 years would not have ticked off my life. It was a gutsy call and we play to win! However, when I saw the bounce right into Haywood's hands and Singler picked ILLEGALLY, my heart sank into my stomach only to jump into joy. I will be seeing my cardiologist today.

  16. Quote Originally Posted by Underdog5 View Post
    I didn't like the intentional miss. My concern was that some slight contact on a 50/50 ball off the rim or in advancing the ball up the floor results in a whistle (not one to harp on refs but they were definitely giving the underdog the benefit of the whistle). Now they are at the line with a chance to tie the game.

    I know the thinking is that every team has an end off game out of bounds hail mary pass for a good look in their playbook and nobody practices an end of game rebound to a shot play and so the confusion reduces the opponents chances. But we were about 6 inches from being on the wrong end of that confusion. Would have preferred to eliminate the chance for a loss but we won so K is still a genius in my book.
    Yup, that was my main problem with the call. Zoubek did a great job of slowing down Heyward after he got the rebound without fouling him. But Z could have easily got overexcited and fouled or Heyward could have make a move right into him and gotten a call. I would have preferred to have Z hit the FT or try to hit it. I doubt they give Butler a BS call in a game like that but Heyward very well could have barrelled into big Z drew contact and forced them to make some kind of call.

  17. #57
    Here is my idea:

    1. Zoubek makes free throw. Leading by 3
    2. Foul immediately 2.1 secs left on the clock
    3. Hayward makes both Free Throws.
    4. Butlers foul Scheyer or Scheyer dribble the clock out

    Sure win, rather than the 3 pointer hail mary that almost gave me a heart attack.
    Wouldn't that be nicer? But I am not complaining!

  18. #58
    alteran is offline All-American, Honorable Mention
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    Quote Originally Posted by tecumseh View Post
    Do you really think it was an illegal screen? I looked like he was stationary. Imagine if he had hit the three and they had waved it off for offensive foul illegal screen
    I absolutely think it was an illegal screen. He moved, leaned into contact, and then specifically moved his shoulder to blindside Singler in the head. He could have hindered Singler every bit as much without being vicious.

    Wouldn't shock me if there was some frustration in what he did, and it also wouldn't shock me if he didn't intend it to be quite as vicious as it turned out to be.

  19. #59
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    To me, a missed shot or a clanged shot that caroms is less stable to grab; this makes the shock factor greater for the opponent and puts pressure on the opponent to a) control the carom and then b) get a decent pass to mid-court or closer, if possible, for some type of shot.

    A made shot at least gives a usual in-bounder time to get the ball and take it out of bounds; screens can be set by players to free more shooters; one more pass can be made to get an even better shot, and possibly the chances of a made shot go up.

    I wonder if K pulled the missed shot, at that time of that particular game, for the shock value?

    Whatever the rationale, it worked and we are the National Champions yet again.

    dth.

  20. #60
    alteran is offline All-American, Honorable Mention
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    Quote Originally Posted by PADukeMom View Post
    I am happy with the intentional miss if that is indeed what happened.
    Zoubs said it was an intentional miss, and that it was under orders. It was actually pretty funny the way he said it.

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