You’ve seen it by now. In the closing seconds of yesterday’s loss to Florida, PJ Washington drove to the basket to only be fouled hard by Florida. Jay Bilas criticized the official for not making the foul call. Luckily for Kentucky, the ball did go out of bounds off of the Gators and the Cats got another chance to run an inbounds play.
Fans immediately called it a “screw job.” Don’t get me wrong, it was the wrong call, but was the wrong call the best thing to happen to Kentucky? Let me explain… if the official would have called the foul, Washington would have gone to the line to shoot two with a little over 2 seconds left.
Washington is a 59% free throw shooter and 54% since the start of 2018. Do you take your chances that the Freshman makes both of those free throws? Or was the no call the best possible thing that could have happened? This gave Kentucky a shot to tie on one shot or even get a chance at the win.
Yes, if Washington makes them both, Florida would have to go the length of the floor in 2 seconds or make a long shot to win. Overtime would have been inevitable. Would Kentucky have won those five minutes? I’m not so confident they would have.
What if Washington would go and miss them both? Florida would almost be guaranteed to get the rebound and would therefore win the game.
What if Washington goes to the free throw line and makes one of two? If he makes the first of the pair and misses the second, the Cats would have had to have gotten an offensive rebound and putback to have a shot at the win. If he misses the first and makes the second? Kentucky has to foul, which would probably come at around 1.8 seconds and then would have to make a long shot.
When looking at the play, the big downside to the no-call being the best thing that could have happened is the fact that Kentucky struggles so much on inbounds plays. The no-call on the previous play obviously did give Kentucky multiple looks at an open shot.
What do you think? Which outcome gave Kentucky the best odds to win? I am still leaning towards the no-call being the best thing that could have happened.