Last Saturday morning, I sat down to do something that I increasingly rarely do: I watched a full college basketball game on television, live and in real time. Ohio State at Indiana. A couple of teams I really like to watch — players like Troy Williams, Yogi Ferrell, D’Angelo Russell and Sam Thompson – all among my favorites in the sport this season. This was a game that featured a ton of thrilling plays, a strong but unsuccessful comeback by Ohio State in the final minutes including a potential game-tying shot — many of the elements that make for a great college basketball game. And yet, for the final four minutes, I was often bored out of my mind. Why? Let’s just look at a play-by-play, including real Eastern Standard Time and game time of the final 3:37 of action in a game that, while maybe a bit on the high end of the spectrum, was not in any way extraordinary in terms of length or length of crunch time.
Indiana/Ohio State (January 10, 2015) – Final Four Minutes
- 1:51:51 PM EST With 3:37 left, Ohio State threw the ball out of bounds and initiated the under-four media timeout. At this point, the teams still had a combined seven timeouts remaining. It would take more than 30 minutes before this game, which ended in regulation time, finally ended.
- 1:55:05 Ball inbounded following media timeout.
- 1:55:15 (3:32 on game clock) Whistle blown following a James Blackmon layup and foul. Jae’Sean Tate fouls out.
- 1:56:26 Blackmon’s free throw goes through the bottom of the net.
- 1:56:42 (3:19 on game clock) Following a Shannon Scott jumper, Thad Matta calls his first timeout of the half; he has three remaining.
- 1:57:47 Play resumes.
- 1:57:57 (3:11 on game clock) Sam Thompson is fouled, and one.
- 1:58:28 Thompson’s one shot is through the net.
- 1:58:41 (3:05 on game clock) Blackmon is fouled.
- 1:59:31 Blackmon’s second shot is through the net.
- 2:00:32 (2:08 on game clock) Thompson is fouled, and one.
- 2:01:08 (still 2:08) Thompson misses, D’Angelo Russell rebounds, is fouled, Nick Zeisloft fouls out.