From Seth Davis:

I’ve seen a bunch of studies done over the years, including Ken Pomeroy’s work in 2013. Unlike other studies done at that time, which argued that fouling up three was the preferred strategy, Ken’s findings were basically inconclusive. But last fall, Nicholas Canova of CBB Analytics published a study that was far more definitive. Canova’s conclusion: If a team fouls up three in the final seconds, it basically doubles its chances of avoiding overtime.

To collect his data, Canova studied more than 15,000 Division I men’s games over a four-year period. Here’s what he found:

  • 0-4 seconds: The game went to overtime 16.9 percent of the time when allowing a 3-point attempt, but only 8.7 percent when fouling
  • 4-8 seconds: Game went to OT 18.9 percent of the time when allowing a 3-point attempt versus 7.6 percent when fouling
  • 8-12 seconds: OT in 18.3 percent of the games when allowing a 3-point attempt versus 9.4 percent when fouling

Bottom line: If you foul up three, you double your chances of avoiding overtime.