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TNIAAM Roundtable: So do we hate the Elam Ending, or no?

Now that Boeheim’s Army’s run in TBT is over, do we hate this wacky new end-of-game idea?

Via Boeheim’s Army

Boeheim’s Army was halted in the Elite 8 of this year’s The Basketball Tournament, after losing on three from Golden Eagles to get to the “Elam Ending” score of 90.

While the finish there was brutal, it’s not as if Boeheim’s Army lost right away as a result of the alternative way to play out the end of basketball games. They’d won the first three matchups, and in each, hit some sort of game-winner to do so (as is the case with all Elam Ending contests). The Super 16 win over Armored Athlete came via Hakim Warrick free throw.

When the idea was first floated, it seemed weird, sure. But now that we’re well familiar with what the Elam Ending can and can’t do, it’s probably worth seeing just how much we hate it (or don’t).

Some TNIAAM staffers weighed in, and we asked Twitter to share some thoughts as well. If you have your own passionate argument for or against, feel free to share below.

Elam Ending: Yeah or Nah?

James Szuba: Yeah, with tweaks

While I don’t think we should be in a hurry to implement the Elam Ending into the college or NBA game, it is something I’d like to see explored more on an experimental basis. TBT is the perfect arena for something like that. Why not tweak this thing just a bit? Seven points seems awfully quick -- let’s extend this thing to 10 points added to the leading team’s score. That way we’re ensured at least four scoring possessions (unless you’re a wizard who scores by four-point plays). And let’s start the foul count over once the Elam Ending goes into effect. We want to limit late game fouling anyway, right? Shooting fouls still apply, but start the foul count at zero and once a team gets 5 begin a 1-and-1 scenario. I think that would make the game better and bonus free throws don’t seem like a way to incentivize players to draw cheap fouls and get east points at the line in crunch time.

Andrew Pregler: Switzerland

I’m neither pro nor anti Elam Ending. Sorry Fox, I’ll send the #hottake check back in the mail. I like the idea of eliminating fouling for the sake of prolonging a game, but as we saw in Armored Athlete vs Boeheim’s Army, if you have a below average free throw shooter, fouling ends up back in the back down the stretch. Basically: it’s a cool idea that I think works in theory as it’s like playing pickup: here’s the score, go and get it. Problem is, with clock or different endings, there will always be ways to bring fouling into the fold to mathematically tilt unfavorable odds. Stick with the clock, nothing else will dramatically change that fact.

Brandon Ross: Nah

With the Elam Ending, all the end of game heroics in college basketball get completely altered. Nothing beats the rush of having to race against the clock in major comebacks, especially when the other team is still putting up a fight. This wouldn’t end college basketball as we know it, but it would be a stupid, stupid idea.

Kevin Wall: Yeah, but only for TBT

Elam ending works for TBT because it helps create excitement for an event which is looking to establish a fun summer sporting event. I don’t see it coming to CBB because coaches would only approve it with a whole lot of conditions like the game can’t end with free throws or team fouls reset in final four minutes.

John Cassillo: Nah

This has nothing to do with how we lost, and everything to do with how it completely alters the game you’re playing. If you’re executing well in the paint, the Elam Ending largely throws that out in favor of threes. Sure, pace and space are part of today’s basketball (even more so at the pro level than college). But forcing teams into that style for just the closing possessions seems like an over-correction to the problem of intentional fouling.

Twitter: Mixed

How about you log some votes yourselves?


Elam Ending: Yeah or Nah?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    (59 votes)
  • 67%
    (121 votes)
180 votes total Vote Now