Last Friday, Yale guard Jack Montague sunk a 3-pointer to defeat UConn, handing the defending national champion its third consecutive loss.
The game-winning shot was from the same corner of Gampel Pavilion where Jonathan Holmes of Texas had connected on a last-second three to defeat the Huskies days before.
Some UConn students were reminded of Montague’s heroics during their final for Math 3160 this week. The upset sparked an exam question for professor Joe Chen, who happens to be a Yale alum. He later sent an image of the test, with the correct answer, to the Twitter account, @NoEscalators before discussing it further with Matt Norlander of CBSSports.com.
“A very natural question to ask after the game is: how often does such an upset happen?” Chen told CBSSports.com in an email. “So I set out and found all previous UConn-Ivy League matches from the 1980s using Sports Reference. The fact that there were a sufficient number of sample size (31), plus the fact that the games are virtually independent (teams change, players change), means that the central limit theorem can be applied to a very good approximation!
“When I came to UConn, one of the things I want to do is to build in references to the men’s/women’s basketball program as much and as reasonably as possible,” he said. “And probability is the best setting to achieve this.”
The answer was seven, by the way.