Publication Date



The aim of this study was to analyze the game-related statistics and tactical profile in winning and losing teams in NCAA division I men’s basketball games. Twenty NCAA division I men’s basketball close (score difference: 1-9 points) games were analyzed during the 2013/14 season. For each game, the game-related statistics were collected from the official teams’ box scores. Number of ball possessions, offensive and defensive ratings and the Four Factors (effective field goal percentage; offensive rebounding percentage, recovered balls per ball possession, free throw rate) were also calculated. The tactical parameters evaluated were: ball reversal, dribble in key area, post entry, on-ball screen, off-ball screen, and hand off. Differences between winning and losing teams were calculated using a magnitude-based approach. Winning teams showed a likely higher percentage of 3-point goals made, number of defensive rebounds and steals and a very likely higher number of free throws made and free throws attempted. Furthermore, winning teams showed a likely higher team offensive rating and effective field goal percentage and a very likely higher free throw rate compared to losing teams. Finally, the results revealed a likely higher number of ball reversals and post entries in winning teams compared to losing teams. This study highlighted the game-related statistics and the tactical actions differentiating between winning and losing teams in NCAA Division I men’s basketball close games. Coaches should use these results to optimize their training sessions, focusing on those variables that might increase the possibility to win close games.

Author Supplied Keywords

Performance analysis, Game outcome, Coaching, Basketball tactics, Team sports


Team sports--Research; Team sports--Statistics; Basketball

Publication Information

Archived version is the final published version.





Document Type

Journal Article