NEW YORK – Sports television executives have sunk billions into the coffers of top properties like the NBA Playoffs and the NCAA March Madness tv package. It’s all done for big payback at this time of year when the playoffs are the king of content.
Thuuz Sports, an automated video highlights production platform for worldwide sports, named their Top 10 most exciting games for April, with the NBA and the Stanley Cup Playoffs taking most of the attention of fans around the country. Topping the list, however, was The University of Virginia’s controversial last second win to take home the NCAA title, as well as the LA Clippers NBA Playoff comeback and two NHL Game-7 heart stopping finishes. The first MLB game of the season also made the list.
Using their custom designed algorithms to measure real-time event excitement, Thuuz will provide a unique look into what games have gotten fans the most excited and engaged as 2019 rolls along.
The game excitement ratings are measured on a 0 to 100 scale and take into consideration game pace, team parity, play novelty, momentum shifts, social buzz, and historical context. The algorithms behind the excitement ratings are statistically calibrated to insure the appropriate distribution of ratings across the duration of a season or course of a tournament.
Using the Thuuz excitement measurement platform, the top ten most exciting games were:
1) Virgina 63 Auburn 62 (NCAA): 4/6/19- A highly competitive and thrilling Final Four matchup resulted in one of the most controversial endings in college basketball history. Seeking their first ever National Championship appearance, Auburn thought they had the game won after a missed Virginia 3-pointer in the corner. As Auburn started to celebrate, they began to realize that a foul was called on Virginia’s Kyle Guy. To add controversy to the situation there was a missed double-dribble call with 1.5 seconds left that would have given Auburn the ball up by 1. Kyle Guy went to the free throw line, drained all 3 pressure-packed FT’s, and helped UVA advance to the National Championship game, that they would go on to win.
2) San Jose 5 Las Vegas 4 (NHL): 4/23/19 San Jose defeated Vegas in a winner-take-all Game 7. Down 3-0 in the 3rd period, the Sharks made their comeback, racking up 4 power play goals on a controversial 5-min major penalty. Sharks forward Kevin LaBanc had a hand in all 4 goals, including the 4th goal as the PP came through in the clutch for San Jose. Vegas scored a goal with under a minute left in regulation tying the game, before the Shark Tank erupted after Sharks 4th liner Barclay Goodrow scored the series-clinching goal late in overtime to send the Sharks through to the 2nd round.
3) Los Angeles Clippers 135, Golden State 131 (NBA): 4/15/19 Up 94-63 with 7:31 remaining in the 3rd quarter, the Warriors looked to be in full juggernaut cruise control. But the Clippers’ belief never wavered, and they clawed their way back into the game. After tying the game with a minute left, it looked like the Warriors would still be victorious after a Steph Curry 3-pointer with 55.8 seconds remaining. Those would be the last points Golden State scored as a Landry Shamet 3-pointer gave the Clips a lead with 15.9 seconds left that they wouldn’t relinquish, completing the greatest comeback in NBA postseason history.
4) Carolina 4, Washington 3 (NHL): 4/24/19 Carolina’s Brock McGinn scored the double OT goal in Game 7 off an assist from “Mr. Game 7” Justin Williams as the Hurricanes knocked the defending champs out of the playoffs. The home team had won all previous 6 games of the series, and looked as if the home team would win again after Washington led 2-0 at the end of the 1st and 3-2 at the end of the 2nd. But a 3rd period goal from Jordan Staal and an excellent overtime save on Alex Ovechkin from Petr Mrazek gave the Canes the opportunity to shock the Caps in the 2nd overtime and move on to the 2nd round.
5) Seattle 11, Los Angeles Angels 10 (MLB): 4/18/19 The first MLB entry of the season saw the Angels stage a thrilling 8-run comeback over the surprising Seattle Mariners, only to have the Mariners score the game-winning run in the 9th. The Angels rallied for 7 runs in the 7th inning, and collected 16 hits overall with Angels’ superstar Mike Trout only going 1-5 in the game. It wasn’t enough as the Mariners continued their streak of hitting a HR in every game to start the season. Ryon Healy led the way with 2 HRs and and 5 RBIs, and Jay Bruce had the clutch 2-out RBI single to put his Mariners back on top.
6) Columbus 3, Boston 2 (NHL): 4/27/19 After the Bruins won 3-2 in overtime in Game 1, Columbus turned the tables on Bruins by winning 3-2 in double overtime in Boston to even the series at 1 apiece. Artemi Panarin was the star for the Blue Jackets, scoring both goals in regulation before assisting on Matt Duchene’s PP goal in overtime. The Blue Jackets won the game despite not scoring a single 5 on 5 goal, with 2 of their goals coming on the PP and the other coming in a 4 on 4 situation. Both goalies played well, making some flashy saves in the overtime period to give their team a chance to win the game.
7) Boston 6, Toronto 4 (NHL): 4/17/19 The Bruins scored 2 goals in each period as they secured a much-needed road victory to head back to Boston with the series tied at 2-2. Boston held off a furious Toronto rally as the Maple Leafs scored 2 goals in less than 2 minutes to make the score 5-4 and get their crowd roaring. Boston’s poise came through in the end, as an empty net goal with less than 5 seconds remaining sealed the game for the Bruins. Zdeno Chara, Boston’s 42 year old captain, ended up with the game-winning goal.
8) Montreal 6 Toronto 5 (NHL): 4/6/19 For a regular season NHL game to make the Top 10 list, this game had to be incredibly exciting. And it was. 98 shots on goal, 10 goals, a hat trick, and 3 shootout goals that ended with the Habs winning their final regular season game. Habs rookie Ryan Poehling recorded a hat trick in his NHL debut, and then scored the SO winner for Montreal to cap it off.
9) Oklahoma City 112 Houston 111 (NBA): 4/9/19 A game with big playoff seeding implications came down to the wire as OKC pulled off a 14-point 4th quarter comeback. Houston’s MVP candidate James Harden had 39 points and 10 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough as OKC’s Russell Westbrook secured another triple-double with 29 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists. This loss, coupled with other unfortunate results, dropped Houston to the 4th seed which is why they are currently facing the Golden State Warriors in the 2nd Round of the Western Conference.
10) Orlando 104, Toronto 101 (NBA): 4/13/19 The Toronto Raptors have a storied history of Game 1 struggles, and it continued into this series. As the East’s #2 seed, the Raptors were expected to dispatch of the Magic relatively easily. However, a DJ Augustin 3-pointer with 3.4 seconds remaining gave the Magic a Game 1 victory. With the close loss, Orlando dropped to 2-14 all time in Game 1’s.