Could Men’s Basketball Learn From The Women’s Game
Maybe it's because both games in the NCAA women's final four went into overtime and then the title game was decided by a buzzer beater but I just seemed to enjoy watching the women play basketball more than I do the men.
Granted there was drama in all three games at the NCAA women' final four. Mississippi State beat Louisville in overtime and that was followed by another overtime game in which 36-0 Connecticut fell to Notre Dame as super guard Arike Ogunbowale hit a three pointer with 1-second top play.
In the final it was Ogunbawale the hero again for the Irish as she canned a three pointer for the win over Mississippi State with .01 seconds to play.
Both game winning shots came from about the same spot on the court and were video replays of each other.
But for all the excitement and drama it was more the way the game was played that seemed to catch my interest. I knew there were different rules from the men to the women's game but I wasn't truly aware how much those rules changed the play of the game until I watch all three final four games from start to finish.
The big difference are the four 10-minute quarters compared to the two 20 minute half's in the men's game. The quarters seem more manageable from a playing and coaching strategy with each quarter a game within the game.
.The men are allowed six fouls before on the 7th the other team is in the bonus. That means a lot of trips to the free throw line. The ladies are allowed 5 team fouls each quarter before bonus shots and that results in less bonus free throws and keeps the game moving.
While the player fouls accumulate through the game the team fouls are wiped out after each quarter and that really seemed to help the flow of the game.
There were other small changes in the shot clock and where a team inbounds after a time out and it all seemed to make the game more interesting and compelling.
Obviously the two overtimes and the buzzer beater in the final four added to the excitement at the women's tournament but it just seemed the game itself was more organized, better controlled and less of a free throw shooting contest and more of a winning shot kind of finish.
One footnote, .01 seconds is not enough time to blink never mind inbounds and shoot. The refs should have just let the game be and the celebration begin.
Ogunbawale's knick name is "the closer" and for good reason!