Down a couple of points with under five seconds left, the best thing to do at the free throw line is to intentionally miss, collect the rebound, and make a quick shot. Except, this never actually works in practice.
It’s highly difficult to intentionally miss a free throw in a way that results in a positive bounce. There is no element of surprise because the defense knows exactly what is going on. Even if the ball does carom off the rim into the offense’s hands, they still have to find an open shooter who then makes their shot. And all of this needs to happen within the span of a couple of seconds: it is nearly impossible to pull off.
With all that said, I present the final 2.7 seconds of the University of Rochester’s game against the University of Chicago yesterday.