Thursday, February 28, 2013

I'm Calling It

Watching that game last night, I kept waiting for the Cats to get a couple of stops.  I kept waiting for USC to miss a few shots in a row.  It seemingly never happened.  It felt like every Trojan possession ended with a made shot, free throws, or a turnover.  The Trojans shot the ball ridiculously well.  Given his quotes after the Washington State game, I'm sure Sean Miller has been preaching defense all week.  No doubt, that sermon continued during every timeout, all of which the Cats had used well before the game ended.  Our defense was not great.  USC shot the ball at over 61%, but our defense was not that bad.  That's why I have to call bullshit on this one.  That game was a classic case of bad luck.

Consider this. USC has not put up 89 points in a non-overtime game this year.  In their first game of the season against Coppin State, they managed 87.  At McKale, the Trojans only scored 50 points.  How was USC able to nearly crest 90 at the Galen Center against a decent defensive Arizona team?  Lucky shooting.  Sure, they had some gimme's, but I saw a lot of contested fadeaways, floaters, and three pointers.

USC came into the game shooting the ball at 45.5% from inside the arc.  Last night, they went 27-44, or 61.3%.  What is the probability of a team that shoots the ball at a 45% clip going at least 27 for 44?  It's 1.2%. It would be expected to happen only once in about 84 games.

What about shooting the three?  The Trojans were 6 for 10, despite being only around 35% for the year.  The chance of that?  It's around 2.5%.

What about both?  What's the chance of USC doing both in the same night?  It's around 0.03%.  It should happen once every 3,364 games.

I'm glad this game happened when it did and not a few weeks from now.  Don't expect lightning to strike twice.

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