The Devil’s In The Details

Last night, Boston College beat Wake Forest 72-66 in Winston-Salem. In that game, BC attempted 50 free throws while Wake had just 14 – a 3.5 to 1 ratio. The Demon Deacons were whistled for 31 fouls, while the Eagles were nabbed just 17 times.
Oddly enough, unlike last week when Boston College lost to Duke, there was no hue and cry over the officiating. After the Duke game, BC coach Al Skinner gracefully commented that “[he didn’t] remember us getting the benefit. Even the last play. There’s contact on that last play and it’s OK. We make contact and it’s a foul. We played well enough and I thought we would earn the respect of the officials. Maybe it didn’t work out that way.” In that Duke game, the Blue Devils shot 37 free throws to the Eagles’ 13 (a less-than-3 to 1 ratio). Duke committed 19 fouls to BC’s 27.
Similarly, after the Duke-Florida State game, the nation erupted in articles debating not whether or not Duke “gets all the calls,” but just how much benefit they get and why they get it. In that game, Duke shot 43 free throws to Florida State’s 11. Duke committed 15 fouls to the Seminoles’ 28.
The strange thing is that I don’t recall any outrage after FSU’s previous game, a win over Clemson. In that game, played at Clemson, the Seminoles shot twice as many free throws as the Tigers (35 to 18) and committed one third fewer fouls (17 to 26). In the game before that, a loss to Miami, FSU attempted 23 freebies to the Hurricanes’ 9.
Such disparities, but no complaints? I wonder why that is? Could it be that these sorts of differences in fouls and free throws are completely ordinary? Could it be that the numbers don’t add up to incontrovertible evidence of a double-standard?
p.s. In the game before they played Duke, BC shot nearly three times as many free throws as Georgia Tech (32 to 13) while committing 10 fewer fouls (13 to 23).

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