Thursday, January 11, 2024

Record Blog Traffic? Self's Tulsa Draws 23 Fouls, Rallies to Final 4

The current Sweet 16 of the most recent Value Add Basketball Game teams continues to draw a boom in unique visitors to the site, as Bill Self's Tulsa 2000 team rallied from down 47-35 for a thrilling 67-65 win. While we are playing these games as neutral site without the home court advantage (of flipping rolls of 36 or 66 to mirror average home team +3 advantage), Drake fans may have assumed it was in Tulsa after being whistled for 23 Fouls compared to only 14 called in Tulsa. A photo of the scoresheet is below.

Tulsa will now play the winner of AC Green's 1982 Oregon State vs. Clem Haskins 1966 Western Kentucky in one Final 4 game. The other semifinal features John Calipari's UMass 1996 vs. New Mexico State 1970.

While our Sweet 16 lacked the biggest name schools that played off in our previous tournaments, we did play a smaller tournament first that featured a rematch of Wilt Chamberlain vs. Bill Russell (Kansas vs. San Francisco) and the clicks have ramped up - so we appreciate the interest! 

In December we had the most clicks since the linitial roll out of the Value Add Basketball Game's all-time cards going back to 1943, when the jump shot was invented in Wyoming to truly start the modern game.

Once 70,000 fans had gotten the game the traffic had trailed off back to our all-time average of 6,300 unique visitors a month for the past two years. Prior to that initial boom the game had only featured 21st century teams based on stats from, but we figured out stats to use from College Basketball Reference (our top referrer as we link to their player pages) and interest grew. Many teams were created while I was in a New York hotel rooms.after COVID cancelled the Big East tournament and NBA - and fans also clicked on our Statis-Pro baseball cards that COVID summer.

The trail off to settle to 6,300 a month for the last two years ends in the middle of last month as unique visitors surged to get us the page to 11,169 unique visitors - almost twice the average 6,300 unique visitors since we first had 163 visitors in all of December 2016 when these pages were introduced. We hit new milestones with 5,843 in March 2018, then 10,487 in September 2018.

Starting with the improvement of the Value Add Basketball cards in October 2019 these pages enjoyed their all-time high visits with nine months above 13,000, peaking at 15,870 in April 2020 after I expanded the calculations into the 1900s to grab the great teams from all-time and start the big tournament that ended in Bill Walton's UCLA beating Michael Jordan's UNC after I had only played 21st century conference games until that point.

However, the last 13,000+ month was September 2021 as you can see from the top 10 months of all time for these pages:

  1. January 2024, 2012 (updated 1/23, 5 pm CT) - 22012
  2. April 2020 - 15,870
  3. October 2019 - 15,584
  4. June 2021 - 15,581
  5. July 2021 - 14,847
  6. Aug 2021 - 14,810
  7. Aug 2020 - 13,997
  8. Sept 2021 - 13,793
  9. Sept 2020 - 13,661
  10. May 2020 - 13,347

Best in 2016 - December -- 163

Best in 2017 - October -- 4,328

Best in 2018 - August -- 10,487

Best in 2019 - October- 15,584

Best in 2020 - April - 15,870

Best in 2021 - June - 15,581

Best in 2022 - April -- 7,858

Best in 2023 - December -- 11,169

Best in 2024 - January as of 1/13 12:20 am - 9,553 (needs 4,300 more by end of month to break top 10)

The jump has continued to expand this month with 8,526 unique visitors through January 11 - meaning the pages only need to average 500 visitors a day for this month to break into our top 10 all time, and if the traffic kept anywhere near the first 11 days then the all-time record of 15,870 would be in site.

Regardless of if we keep seeing the many visits, or this was just an incredible wave to to add to the almost 72,000 who have visited the game itself, thank you! We show a graphic at the bottom of traffic - and 70% of our visitors do.e straight to, not to a specific link.

Oh Yeah - Tulsa Won!

Now back to Tulsa making the Final 4 - here is a photo of that scoresheet. Tulsa almost didn't tak advantage of the 23-14 edge in fouls, as they hit only 16 of 26 free throws. 

However, despite their backcourt being outscored 38-15, they rallied with Marcus Hill (team high 14 points) hitting go-ahead baskets to make it 48-47 and then tie the game 50-50 and they won the final stretch to advance.

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