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That Sinking Feeling From The Line

Sometimes you get it sometimes you don’t.

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NCAA Basketball: Florida at Florida State
Dec 11, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles guard Dwayne Bacon (4) shoots a free throw in the second half against the Florida Gators at the Donald L. Tucker Center. The Florida State Seminoles won 83-78. 
Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

When Florida State went into the Smith Center the other day and collectively laid an egg at the foul line, making a combined 12-26 free throws, that .462 conversion rate was most uncommon.

Through games of Jan. 14, that was only the seventh out of 240 performances this season by ACC squads (2.9 percent) in which they converted fewer than half their foul shots. The four teams that misfired to that extent during a road game, FSU included, went on to lose. The three occasions a home team missed more than half its attempts from the line (BC twice), it won.

Miami’s 2 for 10 conversion rate at the line in a decisive loss at Syracuse was the worst yet. It was also part of a four-game run in which the Hurricanes were a combined .500 at the line. In a Saturday win at Pitt, they made 2 of 3 foul shots.

Also of note – visitors twice made fewer than half their free throws in games at North Carolina and once at Syracuse. Surely it’s no coincidence the Domes Dean and Carrier are among the three largest arenas in the ACC, making the shooting backgrounds unusual, if not unusually challenging.

So far there were also four games in which ACC squads made exactly half their foul shots; all but one yielded a victory, anyway.

Three times, an ACC team made every free throw it tried. UNC was 12-12 in a Hawaii tournament win over Wisconsin. Notre Dame, the league’s top foul shooting club, made 14 of 14 to beat NC A&T and was 6-6 in a defeat by Villanova.

When ACC Teams Made Fewer Than Half Their Free Throws
(Through Games of Jan. 14, 2017, Listed by Conversion Percentage)
FT-FTA FT% School, Locale, Opponent Result
2-10 .200 Miami @ Syracuse L
3-11 .365 NC State @ North Carolina L
2-5 .400 Virginia @ Pittsburgh L (OT)
8-19 .421 Syracuse v. Colgate W
12-26 .462 Florida State@ North Carolina L
6-13 .462 Boston College v. Md-E. Shore W
8-17 .471 Boston College v. Syracuse W
3-6 .500 Boston College v. Harvard L
8-16 .500 Virginia v. Providence (N) W
10-20 .500 Louisville @ Georgia Tech W
12-24 .500 Florida State @ Virginia W

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