Mountain biking in South Africa

first_imgSouth Africa is a treasure trove of exciting routes, discovered and waiting to be uncovered, with weather allowing for cycling at any time of the year.The sport is growing so fast that there are now a number of mountain biking schools to teach you the skills to get the best out of your equipment – and the terrain you move through. (Image: South African Tourism)Brand South Africa ReporterMTB heaven! South Africa is a treasure trove of exciting routes, discovered and waiting to be uncovered, with weather allowing for cycling at any time of the year, all day and just about every day.Around Cape Town there are some great single-track routes on the mountain and in the pine plantations. There are escorted trips on the mountain, around the winelands and in the Cape Point section of the Cape Peninsula National Park.The scenic De Hoop National Park near Swellendam, up the east coast from Cape Town, has dedicated, easy trails. There are a few hardcore trails near Swellendam, and then onto the Garden Route, which is just fantastic.There are four superb, laid-out circular tracks in the Harkerville Forest, ranging from mellow to a hectic red route. And nearby are two long, quite strenuous linear trails, Homtini and Petrus se Brand. Locals and international visitors alike agree that the last 6km of Petrus se Brand is the most fun single track ever.Port Elizabeth also has dedicated trails, including one traversing a green belt which cuts right through the middle of the city. An annual MTB race on the Wild Coast set a precedent for pedaling this fantastic area.KwaZulu-Natal has its share of routes, with many great ones in the Drakensberg and the Midlands.Pietermaritzburg, especially, is blessed with superb options. It hosted the opening round of the UCI Nissan Mountain Bike World Cup in April 2009 and will host an MTB World Cup event for another three years after the success of 2009.The Free State is home to some seriously strenuous trails, and often has competitions. There’s one called the Two Mountains Race, which should give you an idea of what you’d be in for.And Johannesburg has a huge active MTB population, so there are a lot of trails nearby. Many of these urbanites head out to the wonderful trails in Mpumalanga, where you’ll find lots of opportunity to get down and dirty.MOUNTAIN BIKING OPERATORS Active Escapes specialise in providing personalised mountain bike and cycling holidays, to accommodate all level of riders. The offerings range from fully- supported and professionally guided tours to tours in which cyclists are left to themselves, but provided with detailed route information, while logistics, such as accommodation bookings, airport and end-point vehicle transfers are taken care of. Active Escapes offers cycling holidays in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, on the Wild Coast, and in the Drakensberg. Beach and Bush presents short trails at Oribi Gorge on the KwaZulu- Natal south coast, as well as a tour of Durban, which takes participants to the city’s most happening venues.Bendito Ranch is a game farm with self-catering accommodation, situated in Mkopane (Potgietersrus), a malaria free part of Limpopo, with four scenic mountain bike trails and hiking trails totalling a distance of 60km. Fishing, photography safaris, game drives, birdwatching, hunting (in season) and barbeques and breakfast in the bush are also available.Bicycling Magazine has sections on mountain biking and, very usefully, on rides. Explore the rides’ archive for a nice list of possibilities from around South Africa.Cape Mountain Biking Tours features a strong team that provides tours in the Eastern and Western Cape, varying in length from one day to the 11 day tour from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town. Places of interest and interesting experiences are included along the way. A two-day self-ride tour of the Cape Town and the Cape of Good Hope is also available.Clearwater Trails, located near Port Edward in Kwazulu-Natal, offer a marvellous mix of terrain and memorable sightseeing with four custom-built and carefully marked MTB trails which have something to suit all levels and tastes with riding on single and double tracks. All the trail options are set against the alluring backdrop of the Indian Ocean with the longer trails passing through Beaver Creek Coffee Estate and Crags View Wild Care Centre before ending at Clearwater Trail Centre.Cycle Lab is one of South Africa’s leading bicycle shops, with in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, the Western Cape and Limpopo. The Cycle Lab website offers plenty of information on events. The newsletters’archive is a very useful and wide-ranging source of information.Day Trippers is based in Cape Town. They offer a nice variety of escorted, vehicle-supported rides, including day tours, which take in the Cape Peninsula, the Winelands, Table Mountain, whale watching at Hermanus, and township tours; extended tours, ranging from five to 150 people, and from five days to 28 days; Epic trippers allows cyclists access to parts of the Cape Epic route, while training rides for the epic itself are on offer. Other destinations avalable include the Cedarberg, the Garden Route and the Karoo.The Dirtopia website includes a section on the Dirtopia Trail Centre, which is based on Delvera farm (R44 between Stellenbosch & the N1). It was created to provide active travellers with hiking and mountain bike trail information as well as serve as a base for permit sales for a range of trails in the Klapmutskop Conservancy. There is also a section for the Dirtopia MTB Festival, as well as other events.Downhill Adventures offer sandboarding, kiteboarding, surfing, and mountain biking. The MTB rides include in and around Cape Town, the Winelands, the Tokai Forest, the Table Mountain, and the Cape Point Nature Reserve. There are over 100 bikes for rent, including hi-spec 27-gear Giants.Drifters offers overland tours in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Kenya, Malawi, Zanzibar, Kenya, and Uganda. They also offer a six-day, five-night hiking and cycling holiday on the Wild Coast, which starts from Port St Johns.Eastern Cape Mountain Biking is a website that covers the Eastern Cape’s mountain bike options impeccably. It features nicely-detailed accounts of many routes, training rides, and many other articles of interest that ensure comprehensive coverage of the region and the sport. Encounter South Africa offers some suggestions on MTB routes to try around South Africa.Escape Cycle Tours offers tours throughout South Africa, including in the Mapungubwe World Heritage Site, a six-day pre-Argus Tour, cycling in the Magaliesberg, Lesotho MTB rides, the KZN Midlands Meander route, the Cape Winelands, the Kruger National Park, the Mashatu Cycle Tour, a 12-day tour from Stellenbosch to Port Elizabeth, a tour from Knysna to Gordon’s Bay, a three-day Johannesburg to Durban trip, the Lindani tour, the Namaqualand Daisy tour, and Maluti Spring tour, as well as cycling in Soweto, and a combo cycling and surfing tour.EveryTrail in South Africa includes a nice list of races and routes, which take place throughout South Africa. The website includes a little info on every suggested route and race.Giba Gorge, near Pinetown in KwaZulu-Natal, offers a number of superb trails for mountain bikers of various skills levels – from easy to expert. There is also a BMX track, free style dirt jumps, a Cyclelab bike shop, a coffee shop, conference centre, bar, and camping facilities.iRideAfrica offers both mountain bike holidays and road cycling tours. Their “Ride Shuttle” is also available for lifts to top jumps, downhill tracks or bike parks around Cape Town. There are a number of tour options and a Blog to keep up with the latest iRideAfrica happenings.The Johannesburg Mountain Biking Club does not have a home base, but through contact between its members, rides are undertaken on most Sundays at various locations around the city, with different lengths, difficulty and technical challenges offered. Visitors are welcome to join in JMBC rides at a cost of R20.Lebanon MTB Trails is located in the heart of the Elgin Valley in the Western Cape, an hour’s drive from Cape Town and 30 minutes from Hermanus. There are four well marked trails that meander through some stunning terrain and everyone from beginners to experienced riders is catered for, with the trails ranging from 5.8km to 25km in distance. Accommodation is available at Oak Lane Cottages, where the trails start and end.Linx Africa: Mountain Bike Trails in South Africa features a list of towns that have MTB trails. Click on a town and you’re taken to a description of trails in the area, with telephone, fax, and e-mail info for enquiries and bookings.Live2Ride offers rentals, trails, and guided tours. They operate in the Western Cape and visit among others, Langebaan, Fossil Park, Saldanha, Koringsberg, and Aurora. Tours include the West Coast Tour, the Garden Route Tour, and the Odyssey Tour, which takes place in Botswana.Makadas Adventures is a mountain bike event company based in the Western Cape. It offers challenging mountain bike events, mostly in the Klein Karoo area. The company’s stated goal is to bring back the fun and adventure to mountain biking, which it does by featuring a wide variety of events – from extreme to simple fun events. Their trails vary from year to year to keep things interesting and new routes are added as farmers open up their trails.Mankele Mountain Biking is located right in the heart of Mpumalanga and features tropical forests, open grass lands, rivers, dams, ravines, mountains and breathtaking views. It’s a superb venue for riders of all abilities, with numerous trails of varying lengths and technical tests. It also offers accommodation as well as other exciting activities.Mountain Biking Africa operates on the beautiful Garden Route. They offer from half- to 13-day tours. These include three different Outeniqua Mountain tours; the Ostrich Tour; the Knysna Experience; Steady Eddie’s Mountain Madness, which was originally designed as a Cape Epic training camp; Steady Eddie’s Buffalo Hills, a slightly easier version of Mountain Madness; and a 13-day tour of Botswana. Bikes are available for hire.Mountain Biking South Africa offer tailor-made mountain trips – with budgetary options of basic, medium, or exclusive – in the Eastern and Western Cape where there are countless breaktaking (literally and figuratively) routes to be explored. They operate out of the beautiful Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route.MTBiker is loaded with a wide variety of information, including on tracks all around the country, which are submitted by mountain bikers themselves. There is also a forum, a blog, events calendar, classifieds, general news and news on equipment.MTB Online features information on trails, races, clubs, shops, products, and holidays. There are reviews and information about maintenance, riding skills, and news. Trails may also be searched by province and links to cycling-related blogs are provided.MTBSA.CO.ZA features a race calendar; a list of MTB clubs; info on trails, which is available by clicking on towns, and other fun stuff. MTBROUTES.CO.ZA lists routes in the different provinces, with an overview, fast facts about each route, and the level of difficulty. It also lists events and has articles on other adventure sports too. The Oak Valley Mountain Biking Experience, located on the Oak Valley Wine Estate, offers three mountain bike routes, including the 14-kilometre Green Route for the family, a 21-kilometre Red Route for stronger riders, and the 25- kilometre Black Route for more advanced riders. The scenery is outstanding and the routes include a lot of singletrack.Olifants Camp – Kruger National Park trails are offered in the north of the world famous game reserve. Up to six people at a time can be accommodated , with two qualified and armed field guides leading the way. The Olifants Camp supplies mountain bikes, backpacks, water bottles, helmets and snacks. Three trail options are available. Outeniqua Biking Trails offer tailor-made tours and trails, ranging from half-a-day to multi-day tours on the picturesque Garden Route. Bikes are also available for hire. Groups of from four to six people, aged 18 to 55 years, are the norm. All guides are SATOUR registered and experienced cyclists.Paarl MTB presents rides in Franschoek and its surrounds. There are 24 choices of routes, ranging from 19 kilometres in length to 134 kilometres. Extensive information on each route is available, including maps and gradients.The Pedal Power Association is the largest cycling association in South Africa and includes over 16 000 paid members. Its website offers a section on mountain biking that includes news, a calendar, and a number of routes in the Western Cape, which is where the Pedal Power Association has its offices.The thehubsa.co.za is South Africa’s leading cycling forum. It is always busy with many visitors and it’s a place where social cyclists are able to interact with the country’s top pros. It’s also the place to go for breaking news in South African cycling.The Cycle Travel Company is located in Johannesburg and is proudly affiliated with South African Tour de France cyclist Robbir Hunter. They offer tours not only throughout South Africa, but throughout the world. Both mountain bikers and road cyclists are catered for. In addition, multi sport tour options, including horse riding and golf, are offered.Treadmag is a magazine that focuses exclusively on mountain biking, delivering content that is relevant to South Africa, as well as being entertaining and informative. Find out where to get it under the list of stockists on the website.Xcape Biking Tours provides guided one-day or multi-day cycle trips for MTB, downhill and road cyclists of reasonable fitness. They arrange travel, accomodation, meals and onwards journeys. They also host training camps.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

EPA rule exempts farms from emissions reporting

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule exempting livestock farmers from reporting to state and local authorities the routine emissions from their farms.“The rule announced today is the final piece in the implementation of the FARM Act, which passed Congress earlier this year and which eliminated the need for livestock farmers to estimate and report to the federal government emissions from the natural breakdown of manure,” said Jim Heimerl, president of the National Pork Producers Council, a pork producer from Johnstown, Ohio. “That bipartisan measure was approved because it was unnecessary and impractical for farmers to waste their time and resources alerting government agencies that there are livestock on farms.”The Fair Agricultural Reporting Method, or FARM, Act fixed a problem created last April when a U.S. Court of Appeals rejected a 2008 EPA rule that exempted farmers from reporting routine farm emissions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). Commonly known as the “Superfund Law,” CERCLA is used primarily to clean hazardous waste sites but also includes a mandatory federal reporting component.The appeals court ruling would have forced tens of thousands of livestock farmers to “guesstimate” and report the emissions from manure on their farms to the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Response Center and subjected them to citizen lawsuits from activist groups.EPA’s latest proposed rule would exempt farmers from reporting to state and local first responders under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) — an adjunct to CERCLA — that they have “hazardous” emissions on their farms.“The pork industry wants regulations that are practical and effective, but applying CERCLA and EPCRA to livestock farms would be neither,” Heimerl said. “Pork producers are very strong stewards of the environment and have taken many actions over the years to protect it.”As evidence: The pork industry and other livestock sectors are working closely with state and local emergency response agencies to ensure they receive information about farms that is useful, and yesterday Smithfield Foods announced new projects to help the company reach its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2025.The world’s largest pork producer and hog processor is expanding its “Smithfield Renewables” platform — its industry-leading carbon reduction and renewable energy efforts — to help meet that goal. It will implement over the next 10 years, for example, manure-to-energy projects at 90% of its hog finishing spaces in North Carolina and Utah and at nearly all finishing spaces in Missouri and convert existing anaerobic lagoons to covered digesters, or construct new covered digesters, to capture biogas.last_img read more

5 Cloud Startups to Watch in 2011 # 5: Tropo

first_imgklint finley A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Tags:#cloud#saas Tropo is a cloud-based API for adding voice, SMS, IM and Twitter support to programming languages. The service runs on telecommunications company Voxeo‘s infrastructure. You can use Tropo to build voice operated phone menus, automated VOIP applications, voice mashups, SMS applications and more. Tropo is free for development. Once an application moves into production, customers are charged per minute for voice services or per message for SMS services. Customers pay for only what they use.Tropo competes with Twilio, which we’ve covered previously. But Tropo is developing its own following.Amber Case and Aaron Parecki, the co-founders of Geoloqi, use Tropo for their project. The pair cites features, scalability and support as the main reasons they choose Tropo.In a post on the subject, Parecki notes that “In addition to sending SMSs and calling phone numbers, Tropo can send messages over other text channels such as AIM, Google Chat, MSN, Yahoo IM, Jabber and Twitter, and can also call Skype and SIP numbers.”Tropo also allows users to set outgoing phone numbers to any number they want.“In terms of scalability – Voxeo’s network has been built out over 10 years,” says Case. “We know that what we build on it will not only be very strong, but it will be able to scale well.”The two say that Tropo’s support is always available via IRC and are extremely approachable.Tropo costs 3 cents per minute for voice services, 2 cents per SMS message and $3 a month for each phone number.Full pricing information can be found here.Tropo was founded in 2009 and is based in Orlando, FL.center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

TransCanada seeking suspension of application for Energy East pipeline

first_imgAPTN National NewsTransCanada Corporation announced Friday it is seeking a 30-day suspension of its application for Energy East Pipeline and Eastern Mainline Project to review the changes announced by the National Energy Board (NEB).TransCanada cited concerns with the NEB’s changes to the issues and environmental assessment factors and the impact of those changes on project costs.Earlier this summer the NEB stated it will now be assessing downstream greenhouse gas emissions as well as direct emissions in the assessment of the project.Read Notice here: TransCanada The NEB stated on its website and by Twitter that it has received TransCanada’s request, and are reviewing the request and will release an answer publicly in a “timely manner”.Energy East is a proposed 4,500 kilometer pipeline to transport crude oil from Alberta to the Maritimes.Eastern Mainline is a proposal for 279 km of new pipeline in Ontario.TransCanada also announced the day before that it is extending the period for which it is accepting contracts for future delivery in the Keystone pipeline citing Gulf Coast hurricane flooding as contributing to the disinterest.Contact APTN National News here: [email protected]last_img read more

Dawson Creek RCMP close highway after gun pointed at driver

first_imgOnce the vehicle was searched, the RCMP found a second sawed-off shotgun.One of the guns seized after a gun was allegedly pointed at driver on Highway 97 South by Groundbirch – RCMP The Dawson Creek RCMP located the vehicle on the side of the highway and conducted a high-risk takedown of the four occupants of the vehicle.Due to the risk posed to both public and police, the highway was closed by officers for a short period.All of the occupants were taken into custody and after a quick search of the vehicle for officer safety reasons a sawed-off shotgun was located.The vehicle was seized so that a search warrant could be completed to conduct a more thorough search of the vehicle as the located shotgun did not match the description provided.Three out of the four occupants were released shortly afterwards.The fourth male passenger, who is suspected of pointing the firearm was held. In addition to charges stemming from this incident, the male also had several outstanding warrants from another jurisdiction. DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – The Dawson Creek RCMP closed Highway 97 Saturday after a firearm was pointed at a female driver near the Groundbirch Store.On Saturday, March 24, the RCMP received a report of a male passenger pointing a firearm at a female driver.  The male passenger allegedly pointed the gun at the female driver after a verbal argument.The gun was described as a short barreled ‘old time’ looking gun.last_img read more

DLF & Hines to jointly develop 2.9 million square feet in Ggn

first_imgGURUGRAM: DLF, India’s leading real estate company, today announced its second joint venture with HINES. DLF Home Developers Limited (“DHDL”), a wholly owned subsidiary of DLF Limited (“DLF”), and Green Horizon Trustee (an affiliate of “HINES”) have entered into a Joint Venture for developing a high-end commercial project in Gurugram. DHDL will hold 67% stake in the joint venture while 33% will be held by Hines. The total investment by the joint-venture partners in this project is about Rs.1900 crores in accordance with the independent valuation undertaken by a category-1 merchant banker. Hines will initially own 33 percent equity share of the Joint Venture with an option to increase its stake to up to 49 percent. Hines has invested approx. Rs 500 cr today in the first tranche. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal The project will be developed on 11.76 acres of land owned by the joint venture company. The land parcel is located across the highway to the existing business district of DLF CyberCity. Mr. Sriram Khattar, Managing Director DLF Rental Business said, “We are excited about the JV with Hines, this is our second JV with them. With our joint experience, we shall work together to develop world class buildings which will set new standards for commercial buildings in this part of the world”, Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost”A significant feature of the relationship has been the implementation of international best practices in the industry in Indian conditions which has been accepted by both partners” says Surojit Basak, Executive Director DLF. He further added that the JV will commence construction in the next financial year. DLF and Hines entered into their first Joint Venture in the year 2008 to develop One Horizon Center in DLF-5 Gurugram. One Horizon Center is a marquee commercial development with LEED® Platinum rating (IGBC) and is home to Fortune 500 multinationals.last_img read more

California almonds becoming mode of terror funding through cross-LoC trade

first_imgNew Delhi: California almonds, known worldwide for their high nutritional value, are being used in cross-LoC trade as a mode to earn profits which are funnelled to terrorists and separatists in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said Friday.India Thursday indefinitely suspended cross-LoC trade at two points along the Line of Control effective Friday, following reports that it was being “misused” by elements from across the border to smuggle weapons, narcotics and fake currency. The almonds produced in California in the United States have been regularly finding their way through LoC trade involving an extensive transport network. According to the modus operandi, Pakistani traders under-invoice products like California almonds. After receiving the consignment, traders on the Indian side sell California almonds at the prevailing market price and make an extra and undue profit due to the under-invoicing, a security official said. The extra money generated is handed over by the traders to terrorists, separatists or anti-national elements in the Kashmir valley to fuel anti-India activities, the official said. It has also come to the notice of security agencies that a significant number of trading concerns engaged in cross-LoC trade are being operated by persons closely associated with banned terrorist organisations, especially Hizbul Mujahideen. Some Indian nationals who have crossed over to Pakistan and joined militant organisations have opened trading firms in the neighbouring country. As a result, many Pak-based trading firms under the control of militant organisations are trading with firms operated by their relatives in the Indian side. The cross-LoC trade is also being used as a regular channel for funnelling drugs such as cocaine, brown sugar and heroin into the Kashmir valley, adversely impacting the youth and converting many into addicts, the official said. In a recent example, 66.5 kg of heroin was seized from a Valley-based consignee, and it was found that the drugs came through the cross-LoC trade. The trade is being exploited for periodically smuggling arms and ammunition into the valley. Numerous seizures have been made of pistols, grenades, spares and ammunition. Recently, a large cache that was concealed in a consignment of bananas was seized from the driver of a cross-LoC vehicle from Kulgam, another official said. With PTI inputslast_img read more

Coach Cal Blew It

Embed Code By Nate Silver Podcast from Indy: The Kentucky Loss and Monday Night’s Matchup Even 38-0 teams can go through mistimed offensive slumps, and the Kentucky Wildcats went through one at a very bad time Saturday night. Kentucky went more than 5 minutes without scoring in its loss to Wisconsin on Saturday. Between Karl-Anthony Towns’ jumper with 6:37 to go in the second half, and Aaron Harrison’s layup with 56 seconds remaining, Kentucky was stuck on 60 points, while Wisconsin swung from being 4 points behind to 4 points ahead.A lot of credit must go to Wisconsin’s stout defense, which looked a lot better than its Pomeroy rating (just 55th best in the country). But the Wildcats didn’t help themselves Saturday night with three shot clock violations down the stretch. Those violations were symptomatic of a larger problem: Kentucky’s torpid pace down the stretch helped doom them.This will involve more math than the usual “hot take,” so hang tight while we take a tour of probabilities. We’re most interested in one big question: Did Kentucky increase its chance to win by slowing its pace, thereby giving each team fewer possessions?At first blush, it seems like Kentucky was better off slowing the game down.The Las Vegas point spread and over-under line projected a final score of roughly Kentucky 67, Wisconsin 62 before the game. (FiveThirtyEight’s model had a similar projection, favoring Kentucky by 4.5 points.) In a game of 60 possessions per team, that translates into 1.12 points per possession for Kentucky and 1.04 per possession for Wisconsin.I simulated the final six minutes of the game 100,000 times using these offensive efficiency figures and a few guesstimations.1I had to guesstimate how the points are distributed between 3-point, 2-point, 1-point and 0-point possessions; Wisconsin will have a relatively high number of 3-point possessions, since they shoot so well from outside, for instance. My guesstimates were as follows: Kentucky scores three points 8 percent of the time, two points 41 percent of the time, one point 6 percent of the time, and no points 45 percent of the time. Wisconsin scores three points 12 percent of the time, two points 32 percent of the time, one point 4 percent of the time and no points 52 percent of the time. That gives Kentucky an offensive efficiency rating of 1.12 points per possession, and Wisconsin 1.04 points, as desired. I also assumed that Kentucky would win 55 percent of the time if the game went to overtime. Up by 4 in a game with 12 more possessions per team2At about 20 seconds per possession, six minutes would ordinarily allow nine more possessions per team. But there are more clock stoppages late in the game. So let’s assume that each team would have 12 further possessions if Kentucky played normally. Kentucky won 81.9 percent of the time. That winning percentage increased to 83.3 percent in a game with 10 possessions per team instead.3I’m assuming there were 10 possessions, not 12 possessions because of Kentucky’s slow pace down the stretch; which ran a minute or two off the clock.So at a first glance, slowing the game down seems like a good idea for Kentucky — they were ahead, after all.But there are reasons not to do it. Kentucky is the slightly better team — or at least that’s what Vegas and the FiveThirtyEight model thought before the game — and in the abstract the better team should want to play a longer game (a game with more possessions). Under our assumptions, if Kentucky and Wisconsin played an infinitely long game, Kentucky would always win. So it was slightly unusual for Kentucky, a Goliath of a basketball team, to adopt a “David strategy” instead.This alone wasn’t enough to make Calpari’s strategy a poor one, however. Even though Wisconsin was the underdog, the difference was small enough that you’d still rather give them fewer chances to catch up, according to the simulations.But Kentucky also almost certainly made its offense less efficient by slowing the pace down. Rather than looking for good shooting opportunities in the first half of the shot clock, it tried to rush shots near the end of possessions. (Wisconsin’s defense, to reiterate, had something to do with that. But Kentucky hadn’t had much trouble finding shots earlier in the game, shooting 60 percent in the first half.)Exactly how much less efficient is hard to say, but efficiency declines significantly as the shot clock runs down to zero. NBA teams score about 1.12 points per possession when they shoot in the first 10 seconds of the league’s 24-second shot clock, but that efficiency declines to 0.92 points per possession in the final four seconds of a possession. These numbers aren’t perfect for any number of reasons — not least because they’re drawn from the NBA rather than college hoops — but they give us at least some sense for the magnitude of the effect.So that got me wondering how much Kentucky’s offensive efficiency would have to decline to render Calipari’s strategy counterproductive. The answer: Not much at all.In the table below, I’ve used the simulation model to estimate Kentucky’s chances of winning with reduced offensive efficiency. For example, a 10 percent reduction in offensive efficiency — meaning that the Wildcats are scoring at a rate of about 1.01 points per possession instead of 1.12 — would reduce their win probability to 76.8 percent in a game with 10 more possessions per team. That’s considerably worse than the 81.9 percent chance they had by playing regular basketball, but permitting 12 possessions per team. Even a 3 percent reduction in offensive efficiency would reduce Kentucky’s winning chances.There are a lot of other factors to consider in the real world, of course, like how Wisconsin might have altered its strategy in response to Kentucky. Still, Kentucky seemed to be playing into Wisconsin’s hands, especially given that the Badgers are terrific in half-court sets — but much worse than Kentucky in transition — and ordinarily prefer to play at one of the slowest paces in college basketball. Wisconsin might have found a way to win anyway — they’re a terrific team, and the game wasn’t all that much of an upset. But Coach Cal made their path to the National Championship a little easier. More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed read more