Basketball Comeback League
MIES (Switzerland) - How successful was the Basketball Champions League's decision to move to a format with Play-Ins and then Round of 16 groups? Well, if the aim was to have every game matter even more than it did already, whilst creating carnage with dramatic, close games and impossible comebacks, then you'd have to say that decision was pretty successful indeed.
Inject this game into our veins please! #BasketballCL I @JerusalemBasket x @sigstrasbourg pic.twitter.com/gq808dSW3m— Basketball Champions League (@BasketballCL) February 7, 2023
Just this past week saw AEK maintain their claim to be the comeback kings after executing a 20-point turnaround against Limoges and on the same day, Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem rode Levi Randolph's last-second floater to complete a comeback from 15 points down in the fourth quarter to beat SIG Strasbourg by just a single point. Let's not forget that Limoges were themselves on the right end of an unbelievable comeback to make it to the Round of 16. As we said at the time, in the BCL Impossible is normal.
As you can see in the chart above, we have already set a record for the number of times during the season that a team has turned around a deficit of 15 points or more. We are at 11 already, with almost 14 percent of games involving a team erasing such a losing margin and eventually winning the game. The previous best was last season which saw nine games involving a big comeback.
The Queen already set a Regular Season record this season when they came back from 25 points against Pinar Karsiyaka. Akil Mitchell had 25 points and 14 rebounds in that game and when you combine that with the 21 points and 9 rebounds in the Limoges game, it's not hard to see who is the man you need to watch when AEK are down big in a game.
To find the previous record comeback, we need to go back to the 18/19 season when Banvit (later known as Bandirma) were down 8-32 against MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg in the first quarter. Again it was a big man that led the fightback with Jordan Morgan recording 27 points and 8 rebounds to steer Hakan Demir's squad to dry land.
That was one of only four games that involved a comeback of 15 points or more in the 18-19 season (out of a total of 137). With 35 games left to play this season, at the current rate of games so far we can expect to see at least four more games involving big comebacks, taking us to a total of 15.
If you want to know where those games might come from, you may want to keep an eye on AEK, Jerusalem, and Limoges but in reality, every contest is closely matched with this Round of 16 format and you genuinely can't afford to take your eye off any team. This year the BCL really did become the Basketball Comeback League.