What happened in the late 80s?

That is around when the NCAA was adopting the three-point shot, but probably we would need to look at season national averages to see if that could explain it. I don’t think so, because it was more of a novelty for a while. Most likely is that it was the introduction of the 45-second shot clock for the 1986 season, so that there were more possessions each game.

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