In the 2019 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship game, with 22.5 seconds left in the second half, Texas Tech had Norense Odiase, a 62% free throw shooter, at the line for what CBS announcer Jim Nantz said was a 1-and-1.

For both the first and second free throws, Texas Tech had nobody on either side of the free throw lane. Here is a photo showing the second free throw attempt:

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What is the strategy in the offensive team not putting any players on the free throw lane? Given that 62% is a bad free throw percentage, why not put players on the lane to try to get a potential offensive rebound?

1 Answer 1


The reason why no one for Texas Tech was in the free throw lane was probably because they had a lead with 22.5 seconds left. Instead of potentially getting the rebound (3v4), they decided to implement a more defensive strategy. In this picture, all 5 Virginia players are on the right side of the court, so Texas Tech had 3 players back on their own basket to prevent a quick score by Virginia.

You generally see this strategy when teams have a small lead with very little time left on the clock.

  • With Virginia's style of play though, not sure they ever try to get a quick score. Commented May 19, 2019 at 18:15

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