Arc de Triumph
By the Numbers: The fine 3-point line to success
Posted: Friday March 12, 1999 02:35 AM
By Ryan Hunt, CNN/SI
ATLANTA -- They call the 3-pointer the "great equalizer." In Thursday's first-round NCAA Tournament games, it was the great decider.
North Carolina found out the hard way.
It was either live by 3 or die trying. In the 16 first-round games, the team that had the higher 3-point shooting percentage won 14 times.
The gap indeed was noticeable. The eight winning teams shot a combined 40.9 percent (113 of 276) from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, the losers shot at only a 29.1 percent (102 of 350) clip.
It was no coincidence that Weber State, the 14th seed in the West Region, shot the best 3-point percentage of the day, burying 14 of 26 shots (53.8 percent) from downtown in its shocking 76-74 upset of the third-seeded Tar Heels.
The Wildcats' 14 3-point baskets tied for the 10th most in NCAA Tournament history.
Arkansas did Weber State one better, hitting 15 bombs in its rout of Siena, while Iowa drained 12 in its win over UAB.
Hot shooting definitely was the key. Only four winning teams shot below 30 percent from the 3-point line. Meanwhile, 10 losers shot below 30 percent.
There were some losing teams, however, that ran into equally accurate long-range marksmen. Penn and UCLA both hit more than 10 from beyond the arc in losing efforts.The Quakers went 14 of 32 from 3-point land, nailing 11 in the first half alone. But they cooled considerably in the second half (3 of 18).
But for every hot-shooting loser, there were the Syracuses (3 of 16), Samfords (7 of 33) and Texas-San Antonios (3 of 17) of the tournament.
How prevalent has the 3-point shot become? The losing teams jacked up an average of nearly 22 3-pointers a game.
However, Indiana was the only team that didn't hoist at least 10 3s.
The Hoosiers shot only three, but still won by 20.
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