Saturday, January 12, 2008

It's not even 3:30 (Central) in the afternoon yet, and already today's men's college basketball action has produced two games of runs.

The team from my home school, Texas Tech, traveled to Oklahoma State to open Big 12 play. I watched most of the second half on TV while having lunch at a campus area pizzeria in Lubbock, and saw the Cowboys nail a bunch of three-pointers in a row to pull away from the Red Raiders. The final was a 74-55 OSU win.

Only upon looking at the game article later, did I learn that the same player, Obi Muonelo, hit four treys in a row, all by himself; in all, he finished the game 5-of-6 from behind the arc.

Interestingly, Muonelo came into the game shooting only .317 on three-pointers (and his team, .346). As I've done time and again, I went to the online binomial calculator from Vassar College and estimated the probability of a .317 prior shooter hitting five (or more) out of six. This test, which assumes independence of observations like coin tosses, came up with a probability of .014 (about 1-in-71).

Encompassing its three-point "hit parade," Oklahoma State went on a 21-2 run in pulling away at the end. In the first half, Texas Tech had put together an 18-5 run.


Meanwhile, North Carolina, the nation's top-ranked team, used a 25-0 spurt over the latter part of the first half to break open its game against rival NC State.


Here's another game to add, from a few hours later. In routing Wyoming 83-56, Texas Christian University (TCU) got off to a 22-4 start and also had a 12-0 run in the second half.


Oops, there's one more game to add. I vaguely had heard that Washington State staged a furious rally at the end against UCLA Saturday to make the game close, though the Bruins held on for an 81-74 victory. It wasn't until I was talking on the phone to my father in L.A., however, that I learned the full nature of WSU's comeback.

With UCLA up 68-53, the Cougars made an unbelievable SEVEN three-pointers in the final 1:37. Obviously, the Bruins needed some scoring of their own down the stretch to maintain their lead; had the Cougars' 21-point barrage been unanswered, it would have been enough to overcome the 15-point deficit. The Bruins indeed scored 13 points of their own in the final 1:37, including 7-of-8 free throws by Darren Collison (article, play-by-play sheet).

No comments: