Shot Clock Violation (04/05/15)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
Did Kentucky lose its perfect season because of a shot clock violation that wasn't called?



Wisconsin upset Kentucky 71-64 on Saturday to advance to the final Monday night against Duke. The Wildcats finished the season 38-1, two wins short of becoming the first undefeated team in college basketball since the 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers.

The game was fraught with terrible officiating but did a shot clock violation that wasn't called cost Kentucky the game?

With 2:41 to play, Kentucky leading 60-58, Wisconsin got away with a clear shot clock violation. The Badgers Nigel Hayes got his own rebound and threw up a second chance shot after the buzzer had sounded.

The bucket counted and the score was tied at 60 even though it was obvious Hayes was still holding the ball when time ran out on the shot clock. Kentucky would never lead again. Salt in the wound for Big Blue Nation, if the play had occurred one possession later it would have been reviewable as refs can go to the monitor with under two minutes to play.

Had a shot clock violation been called, Kentucky leading 60-58 with possession, the Wildcats become 72 percent likely to win.

Following the no call, with possession in a tied game, Kentucky's expected win probability dropped to 51.7 percent. The no call on the shot clock violation was worth more than 20 percent in expected win probability.

Did the no call cost Kentucky the game?

No, the Wildcats were still the projected winner even after the call went against them. Part of being a great team is overcoming bad calls. Wisconsin was the better team Saturday night.