One controversial topic in basketball (college or any other level) is whether to foul a player deliberately with only a few seconds left in the game. Specifically, consider the following scenario. With about 10 seconds left in the game, team A is ahead of team B by three points, and team B is just about to inbound the ball. Assume team A has committed enough fouls so that future fouls result in team B going to the free-throw line. If team A purposely commits a foul as soon as possible, team B will shoot two foul shots (a point apiece). The thinking is that this is better than letting team B shoot a three-point shot, which would be their best way to tie the game and send it into overtime. However, there is a downside to fouling. Team B could make the first free throw, purposely miss the second, get the rebound, and score a two point shot to tie the game, or it even score a three point shot to win the game. Examine this decision, using reasonable input parameters. It doesn’t appear that this deliberate fouling strategy is used very often, but do you think it should be used?
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