Bad beats have been plenty during the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. A string of missed free throws in the final seconds of the UNC-Oregon semifinal thriller added to the misery for some bettors. Here's why.
Bettors buying in on the OVER—and there were a lot—in the terrific Oregon-UNC clash are furious. Oregon made it a 1-point game with .06 second remaining following a Keith Smith layup, the score 77-76 and sitting on the game total. Head coach Dana Altman was forced to send UNC to the line to give his team any chance for another possession and a possible win. OVER bettors were headed to the window, and ready to cash, with the Tar Heels in the bonus. Kennedy Meeks and Joel Berry II, the latter a career 80 percent shooter from the charity stripe, combined to miss each of their four free throws in the final .05 seconds. The bet remained a push; the beat bad. William Hill US reported nearly 70 percent of its money wagered on the total was backing the OVER.
Gonzaga 77 – South Carolina 73
The betting market ended up a fair one in this thrilling semifinal matchup between Gonzaga and South Carolina. The biggest sweat came from ticket holders betting the Zags to score over 73.5 total points. After dropping 45 in the first half, the wager appeared a sure thing. That is until the Gamecock defense sparked a 16-0 second half run. Gonzaga scored just 32 points in the half and looked in danger of a complete meltdown for much of the period. In the end, the bet covered as the Zags put up 77 points to their first title game appearance.
Oddsmakers opened UNC a 2-point favorite over Gonzaga for the championship game on Monday night. The total is set at 153.5. First half lines see the Tar Hells laying a half point with an over-under of 72 points.
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