Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
In Michigan State's 42-point win over McNeese State, there were a grand total of 21 fouls called. The game had a very nice flow to it, rarely interrupted by free throws.
Most other games weren't nearly as free of whistles.
In one of the few nationally televised games, Georgetown and Oregon racked up 59 fouls and combined to shoot 74 free-throws. The final 10 minutes of the game took just less than an hour of actual time.
Kansas and Louisiana-Monroe was just as bad, with a combined 58 fouls and 72 free-throw attempts. Marquette attempted 53 free throws—compared to 36 field-goal attempts—in a narrow victory over Southern University.
The new rule changes—which are primarily just re-emphasizing rules that already existed—will permeate in-game discussions from announcers for the foreseeable future. Cutting down on hand checking and forcing defenders to actually defend with their feet is going to eventually open up the court and lead to a more free-flowing game with more points scored on average.
Until then, a lot of games are going to be sloppy messes that devolve into free-throw shooting contests over the final few minutes of each half.
Bear with it, though, as it's better for the game in the long run. Here's hoping the growing pains only last a few weeks or months rather than a few seasons.