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#pounditFriday, December 4, 2020

Tennessee had awful end of game strategy against Purdue

Tennessee Vols logo

Tennessee’s nice comeback attempt against Purdue came up short in the Sweet 16 on Thursday thanks to some terrible strategy at the end of the game in regulation.

The Vols were once down by as many as 18 points but came back later in the second half to tie the game at 65 with just under seven minutes left. They actually took the lead for a good stretch at the end of the half before giving things away.

Tennessee was up 82-80 with 10 seconds left after a Grant Williams dunk. Purdue had an inbounds play with under three seconds left, and the only thing the Vols needed to do was avoid foiling the Boilermakers. And guess what happened? Tennessee fouled Carsen Edwards on a 3-point attempt. Though Edwards missed his first free throw, he made his next two to tie the game.

Even though they did exactly what you’re not supposed to do by fouling a 3-point shot, they still had another chance. With just under three seconds left, Tennessee had the ball and a chance to get a last shot. They ended up running a confounding play that involved not one but TWO passes before they finally called a timeout. The timeout was called with 0.1 seconds left, leaving them time only for a potential tip-in. Their inbounds pass was deflected and they didn’t end up with a shot at a tip-in.

Then in overtime, the Vols ran out of gas and were unable to keep things close. They also failed to make their free throws — a problem that plagued them in the first half — and came up short.

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