Sports commentator guys Mike and Mike made the offhand comment this morning that MSU lost to Carolina largely because they put them on the line so often, giving up 40 freethrows while shooting only 23.
Except, of course, that in the previous game Michigan State got outshot 33 to 20 at the freethrow line and won comfortably. Moreover, Michigan State got outscored from the FT line by the EXACT SAME MARGIN--seven freethrows--in both the win and the loss.
So clearly, the freethrows were only a part of what went down, and not really the most significant part, either. MSU had one starter foul out, as did UNC. Total fouls were 28 to 22. Given that the Spartans were in comeback mode most of the game, which tends to encourage players to gamble and commit fouls, that really isn't a big disparity.
Let's hear it for more shallow analysis from people getting paid to give us their opinions!