FanPost

Will Louisville's Close Game Struggles Bite It In March?

Joe Robbins

There's been quite a bit of discussion on Card Chronicle about our apparent inability to win close games. Sure, we can blow teams out, but we're probably going to lose in the first round of the tournament because that's when close games happen- and, did you hear we can't win close games?

How could we solve this debate? One solution would be to test the hypothesis that some teams are better at winning close games than are other teams by looking at whether a team that wins a close game (i.e., is "good" at winning close games) is more likely to win their next close game (i.e., be "good" at winning a close game again).

Pomeroy did this.

Here's the spoiler: If you win your first close game of the year, you win your second close game 50% of the time. If you win your first two close games, you win your third 52% of the time, if you win your first 3, you win your fourth 55% of the time, and if you are incredibly awesome at winning close games and win your first 4 in a row, you win 51% of the time.

Super-duper awesome (and show it by winning your first 5), 49%. Virtually the same thing is true for teams who lose their first 1,2,3,4, or 5.

The counter argument, of course, is that we're only 2-9 in games decided by 3 points or less this season (Notre Dame game counts as 6 losses obviously).

Just more evidence that our struggles in close games has very little impact on how we'll do in the next one- or the next one, or one in late march.

I know a lot of people would feel better about our team if we went in to Syracuse and beat them on the last possession of the game. That would show we have the heart to pull off a close win in a hostile environment. You know what would make me feel better about us? If we went in an won by 15.

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