GameChangers (02/24/14)

By John Ewing
GameChangers, a look at plays that impacted the outcomes of NCAA college basketball games. 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 college basketball 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.
 
Syracuse vs. Duke
 
With Syracuse trailing Duke 60-58, C.J. Fair drove for what looked like a game tying layup but was called for charging. Syracuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim lost his cool after the controversial call and received a double technical resulting in his first ejection in 38 years of coaching. Duke’s Quinn Cook hit three of the four free throws and the Blue Devils expected win probability increased from 64% to 85% leading 63-58.
 
This is the second time we have simulated Bracketology and projected Creighton to win the national title. Unfortunately for Creighton fans, the Bluejays odds to win it all have decreased. Three weeks ago Creighton had 11.8% chance to win it all, this week their odds have dropped to 10.7%.
 
Kentucky vs. LSU
 
Julius Randle’s putback off a blocked shot gave Kentucky a 77-76 lead with less than 5 seconds remaining. LSU’s odds of winning decreased to 38%. Had the blocked shot landed in the hands of an LSU player, Kentucky would have been forced to foul. Successful free throws would have given LSU a 78-75 lead. The Tigers expected win probability would have increased to 60%.
 
However, the ball did not bounce that way and LSU is now 5-42 all-time when playing in Lexington.
 
San Diego State vs. New Mexico
 
San Diego State trailed 29-22 at the half. The Aztecs scored the first points of the 2nd half increasing their odds of winning to 37% trailing by 5 points. After that score however, New Mexico went on a 21-2 run that increased the Lobos’ odds of winning from 63% to 99%.
 
There wasn’t much San Diego State could do as the Aztecs only had two turnovers during the 21-2 run. It was just the Lobos’ day; we had New Mexico as the projected winner before the game started.