GameChangers, a look at plays that changed the outcome of the NCAA Tournament. If you have a suggestion for a GameChanger please direct all ideas via twitter to @johnewing
To highlight the Live ScoreCaster, we will take our in-game technology, Live ScoreCaster
, to the next level to review the game-changing plays from March Madness and what the game would have looked like if the plays had turned out differently.
Click the links for each game to see the Live ScoreCaster charts as well as more analysis in the new Game Breakdown section.
Kansas vs. Stanford
Stanford eliminated Kansas from the NCAA Tournament, it is the fourth time in the last ten years that the Jayhawks have been knocked out of March Madness by a double-digit seed. Stanford was the projected winner for 65% of the game despite being a 6.5 point underdog.
After spending most of the second half trailing, Kansas made it interesting in the game’s final minute. Trailing 58-51 with 0:32 left, the Jayhawks had just a 9% chance of winning. Conner Frankamp’s first three pointer increased KU’s chances of winning to 23%. His second bucket from behind the arc made the Jayhawks 43% likely to win trailing 59-57. Frankamp had one more opportunity to tie the game but was unable to connect from downtown. Had Frankamp’s 3-pointer been good, Kansas would have been 53% likely to win in overtime.
Kentucky vs. Wichita State
Kentucky ended Wichita State’s bid for a perfect season. In one of the tournament's most exciting finishes, Kentucky survived a potential game winning three pointer at the buzzer to reach the Sweet 16. How close did the Shockers come to extending their undefeated season? On the last possession of the game Wichita State had a 45% chance of winning.
Kentucky did a great job of forcing Wichita State to take a less than optimal shot at the end of the game. Had the Shockers got a higher percentage look, say a jumper from Cleanthony Early or Ron Baker (both shot better than 45% from the floor on the season), and forced overtime, Wichita State would have been 55% likely to win in the extra period.
Iowa State vs. North Carolina
Iowa State advanced to the Sweet 16 in unusual fashion. The Cyclones took an 85-83 lead with two seconds left and then sweated a gaming winning shot, except the attempt never occurred.
North Carolina attempted to inbound the ball and take a timeout once they crossed half court. However, the officials huddled and determined that time had expired before the play occurred. Had time (at least a second) been put back on the clock, the Tar Heels would have had a 35% chance of winning.