We are only days away from crowning our next NCAA basketball champion and with it comes the madness and gambling that makes the NCAA tournament the greatest sporting event of the year. March Madness is appropriately titled for obvious reasons, you never know what sort of madness will happen. Just ask R.J. Hunter and Georgia State.
With every buzzer beater and last second irrelevant shot in a game that’s already been decided comes the potential to swing the fortunes of gamblers. This March Madness certainly was no exception.
Here’s a look at some of the tournament games that came down to the wire from a gambling perspective that had bettors going mad or jumping for joy.
VCU +3.5 vs Ohio State
Ohio State has the game out of reach in the final seconds when VCU puts in a garbage time layup to secure the cover by half a point. From now until the end of time you’ll be able to remember that this was the last play in Shaka Smart’s career as VCU’s coach. Here’s the crowd reaction from the Westgate Las Vegas.
Michigan St -5.5 vs Georgia
Once again, another betting outcome decided in the final minute as Michigan State had the straight up victory in hand with only 7 seconds remaining. Georgia’s J.J. Frazier misses a layup which would have given them the cover. There was also a Brenden Dawson blocked shot and Denzel Valentine defensive rebound in those final seconds. Thank God for defense.
North Carolina St vs Villanova: Over/Under 138
Betting the over is always way more fun. That’s also why Vegas has built giant casinos because squares enjoy betting them more often. Well chalk one up for Joe Public because with two free throws with 1 second left in this game the over hits and it’s winner winner chicken dinner! Now we all have money to put down on Notre Dame football, the Cowboys, and the Yankees.
Butler +3.5 vs Notre Dame
This game was amazing. It went to overtime, which probably drove Butler backers crazy because they had a shot at the straight up win in regulation. Down five with 2 seconds left in overtime Butler’s Kameron Woods threw down a dunk which ended the game and gave the Bulldogs the “should have covered in regulation but instead backdoor covered in overtime” cover. Hopefully Rudy wasn’t laying the points.
Duke -5 or -5.5 vs Utah
With Duke up 5, the straight up win in hand, and either a push for Utah bettors or win (depending on if you got 5 or 5.5) the garbage foul to end all garbage fouls went down with no time left on the clock. Why #11 on Utah decided to throw his arm out and attempt a clothesline like he was a Hacksaw Jim Duggan I have no clue. It was kind of a bitch move.
I didn’t bet on this game but if I did I most certainly would have been on Utah and I would have been livid. This is a great example of why I am primarily a football bettor more so than on college hoops. Here’s the footage from the final seconds.
Wisconsin -6 vs North Carolina
In what was a close game throughout, Wisconsin pulled a backdoor cover out of their butt as Frank Kaminsky knocked down 4 straight free throws to give the Badgers the W. Down the stretch Wisconsin hit 8 straight from the charity stripe to North Carolina’s 2, which certainly proved to be the difference. Shame on you if you bet against Frank the Tank.
I want to hear from you. Were you on the wrong side of any bad beats this March Madness? Were the gambling Gods raining backdoor covers upon you? Hit me up on Twitter @BaconSports and let me know what went down.