Monday, January 8, 2024

UMass Survives 75-74 Thriller After Cornbread Draws 4th Foul on Camry to Start Huge Rally

 With 11:58 (20 possessions) to play, our 1-seed UMass 1996 had a comfortable 57-46 lead over our 8-seed Charlotte 1977 - when the game changed dramatically as Cornbread Maxwell drew a 4th foul on Marcus Camby.

Camby had to switch the rest of the game to guard Lew Massey, who draws fewer fouls, and playing softer (meaning a 33-36 on his defensive card is a basket for the other team rather than a possible miss or possible foul). 

That change helped Charlotte storm back, capping a 25-13 run with a Kevin King 4-point play with 2:07 (4 possessions) left to give Charlotte their first lead since 30-28 at 71-70. The last 4 possessions were crazy, and because each involved either a foul or a steal, it actually played out as 8 more possessions. 

At one point Charlotte had a chance to but it away with a 73-70 lead when Maxwell and Massey combined for three straight offensive rebounds, before UMass' Carmelo Traviesco finally stole the ball to end the possession. 

With two possessions left Camby had the option of a dunk or drawing a fourth foul on Maxwell, and chose to draw the foul because they needed an extra possession created. He hit one of two free throws to cut it to 73-71, then had his 6th blocked shot at the other end and score on the ensuing possession to make it 73-73. 

On what could be the final possession, Maxwell drew a foul on Dana Dingle, which created one extra possession at the end, but after hitting his 9th straight free throw he missed the second free throw to finish the night 9-10 and leave the 74-73 edge. A key game rule on his second miss - on free throws only the offensive center or power forward can get an offensive rebound unless there is a "high in game" on a roll of 10 or 20. However, when one of them is shooting the free throw they cannot grab the rebound an instead the small forward has a chance. 

The rebound chart was a 3 on the 20 sided die, meaning the offensive center would have a chance on a regular shot, but not on a free throw, and since Maxwell was shooting it automatically goes to the high on defense, which was Camby. This is because historically the offensive normally grabs fewer than 20% of defensive rebounds on free throws while getting almost 40 percent on regular shots.

UMass came down and got the Donta Bright to give UMass the 75-74 lead, and then with Charlotte going down in hopes of a game winning shot, Carmelo Travieso came up with his 6th steal of the game to end it with UMass advancing to the Final Four of our newest 16 teams.

UMass just survived an opening round upset bid by Liberty, so two very close wins. However, Michael Jordan's UNC 1982 team did the same thing in our original tournament of the first 96 great teams created - getting game winning shots from Jordan in both - but they then rolled through 3 other wins before finally losing to Bill Walton in our title game.

Pos      Charlotte 1977         Pts 3pt2ptFTAttRebStlBlkFl   Pts                                              
1-PGMelvin Watkins9041143016'3, 9.6 ppg6'2
2-SGChad Kinch12230023046'4, 15.4 ppg, NBA6'2
3-SFKevin King8040051026'7, 11.1 ppg6'6
4-PFLew Massey16250040136'6, 19.7 ppg6'7
5-CCedric Maxwell150391091346'8, 22.3 ppg, NBA6'11
1-PGJeff Gruber4020010016'2, 5.6 ppg6'3
2-SGLee Whitfield0000010016'2, 0.6 ppg6'7
3-SFMike Hester6030010016'7, 3.1 ppg6'7
4-PFKen Angel0000021026'8, 1.1 ppg6'9
5-CPhil Scott4012210016'8, 3.1 ppg6'9
 13 turnovers744251213309420  
PosMassachusetts 1996Pts3pt2ptFTAttRebStlBlkFlPts 
1-PGEdgar Padilla2010031018.9 Pts, 3.5 Reb, 6.7 Ast6'2
2-SGCarmelo Travieso151367160112.6 Pts, 3.2 Reb, 2.1 Ast6'2
3-SFDonta Bright2009221010114.5 Pts, 5.8 Reb, 1.7 Ast6'6
4-PFDana Dingle171544411310.1 Pts, 7.4 Reb, 1.5 Ast6'7
5-CMarcus Camby170657806420.5 Pts, 8.2 Reb, 1.8 Ast-NBA6'11
1-PGCharlton Clarke0000010011.4 Pts, 0.5 Reb, 0.7 Ast6'3
2-SGTyrone Weeks2010010015.8 Pts, 5.2 Reb, 0.4 Ast6'7
3-SFRigoberto Nunez0000010010.5 Pts, 1.0 Reb, 0.3 Ast6'7
4-PFInus Norville2010010012.4 Pts, 2.1 Reb, 0.0 Ast6'9
5-CTed Cottrell0000010010.9 Pts, 0.9 Reb, 0.0 Ast6'9
 18 turnovers752261720319715 

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