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ASU's 'Curtain of Distraction' Actually Lowers Opponents' Free Throw Percentage [VIDEO]

By Dan Jenkins

Distracting an opposing free throw shooter at a basketball game has become an art form to some fan bases. But does the practice really translate to free throw misses on the court? Arizona State's does.

In a feature done by the New York Times, it was found that ASU's "Curtain of Distraction" does indeed lower the free throw percentage of visiting teams.

The premise is simple -- two students pull back a black curtain which sits behind the basket to reveal something rather strange, whether it be two people in horse masks attempting to make out or someone competing in a hot dog eating contest, in an attempt to throw off the shooter.

The statistics are rather remarkable, as found by the study:

"In each of the three seasons from 2010-11 to 2012-13, visitors missed 28 to 32 percent of their free throws. Last season, the Curtain's first, the rate at which visitors missed free throws rose sharply, to 40 percent."

Curtain of distraction Season begins by azstateathletics on YouTube


Not only does the practice help give the Sun Devils a better chance to win, it may have even impacted their upset over rival Arizona greatly.

"It appears to give Arizona State an additional one- to two-point advantage per home game, beyond the normal homecourt advantage. The Curtain may even have played the pivotal role in the Sun Devils' recent upset of their state rivals, the Arizona Wildcats."

Do you think this tactic could be successfully replicated around college basketball?

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