A wild tip-in at the buzzer and questionable officiating were the catalyst for the worst bad beats in round two of the 2017 NCAA Tournament. Here a few that burned bettors the most.
Baylor 82 – USC 78
Line: Bears -5.5
Baylor backers lost their spread bets in the last second of regulation due to a wild tip-in at the top of lane. Down by 6 points, USC’s De’Anthony Melton chunked up a desperation 3 with 4 seconds left. The ball ricocheted off the front of the rim, nearly to the foul line, where big man Chimezie Metu got a touch. The ball dropped through the cylinder as time expired. Trojans get the cover.
Gonzaga 79 – Northwestern 73
Money line: Wildcats +450
This money line bet was the longest on Saturday’s board, and it looked alive late in the second half. Northwestern, a 10.5-poiont underdog, clawed back from a 22-point deficit to get the score within 5 points with 4:54 remaining in the second half. A missed goaltending call, however, killed the Wildcats’ momentum following head coach Chris Collins earning a technical foul in protest. A correct call would have cut Gonzaga’s lead to 3 points. In-game probabilities never had Northwestern with greater than a 30 percent chance to win outright, but as Collins remarked following the defeat, “"I do believe in my heart that if that's called correctly, we would've had a great chance to win." The NCAA later issued a statement admitting the referees missed the basket interference. The Wildcats ultimately covered the spread, losing 79-73, but the Cinderella run halted.
Purdue 80 – Iowa State 76
1H Total: 73
Never mind the fact the final game score went over the total by a point. Bettors buying in on the first half under 73 are still seething. The Cyclones and Boilermakers combined for 8 points in the final 40 seconds to send the score 2 points clear of the mark (44-31). You can expect a flurry of points like that in the second half with intentional fouling part of the game, but headed into the half is tough to stomach.
Kentucky 65 – Wichita State 62
Line: Wildcats -3
Line shopping is so important in today’s sports betting market. It pays to have money in multiple books where you can wager the best number. Just ask Joe Public who played Kentucky with the hook. William Hill US reported 66 percent of Kentucky money was bought at -3.5 points. In fact, after opening at a bucket, the spread closed anywhere from -3 to -4 in favor of the Wildcats depending on the shop. Shockers backers who bought in late aren’t complaining. Bad beat? Bad shopping? Tough loss or push for many bettors, in a grind-it-out type of game that could have fallen either way.