When Darüşşafaka and Maccabi met in their second league match – level in the league – a point differential helped decide the outcome and lead to some weird ass plays.
I love weird rule quirks in sports (as long as they don’t affect my team losing) and this is especially peculiar. In Series 2 Episode 2 of SB Nation’s Weird Rules, they discuss a meeting between EuroLeague teams Darüşşafaka of Turkey and Maccabi of Israel.
The teams had already met earlier in the season and Darüşşafaka won by 11 points. Due to the point differential rule, Maccabi had to win by 11 or more points to go through. The score was 65-65 with about a minute left on the clock. The logical play would be to play it out until overtime and then try to get the necessary points needed. That would involve running the clock down and just dribbling. Darüşşafaka tried to disrupt this plan by fouling Maccabi, culminating in free throws… which Maccabi bricked on purpose. But the roles were reversed. A Darüşşafaka player was fouled and had the opportunity to go ahead with their free throw. They sunk the first one… but bricked the next one. Why? Because being a point ahead meant Maccabi would need to score to bring it level. The only way to do that would be via a free throw (where you score 1 point). Any points in open play would have counted for 2 or 3 points. The Turkish side stopped playing because unless Maccabi scored 11 or more, they were safe. Or were they?
Rather than explain every little detail, you should watch the video and find out what happened next. You should also watch the Weird Rules series from the beginning as they cover a multitude of sports and the most ridiculous rules you’ll ever see.
The final conclusion wasn’t actually in the video so I’ll fill in the gaps:
Maccabi attempted a field goal and scored. Darüşşafaka time wasted for the rest of the game knowing they didn’t need to score and Maccabi couldn’t find the points they needed in such a short space of time. Maccabi went on to win by 4. That meant they lost the tiebreaker, and fell out of EuroLeague.
Darüşşafaka won the EuroCup in 2017/18 but are currently bottom of the EuroLeague table. They’ve had the worst losing streak (12 games), suffered the worst defeat and the lowest attendance of the season so far. Maccabi are currently 10th.