Duke guard Quinn Cook made one of two free throws with 0.7 seconds remaining, capping the Blue Devils' 63-57 victory over Utah on Friday in Sweet 16 action in Houston. Duke closed as a 5-point favorite at the majority of sportsbooks, which were rooting for the underdog Utes.Thursday's Badger game had a similar ending, where the Badgers were 6.5 favorites, but were only up 5 in the last 10 seconds when UNC missed a 3, Frank Kaminsky got fouled, hit both free throws, and then UNC missed a three at the buzzer to give the Badgers a 7 point win, AND THE COVER.
"It caused a million-dollar swing with parlay liability, to the bad," MGM vice president of race and sports Jay Rood told ESPN.
With Duke leading 62-57, Cook rebounded a missed 3-pointer from Utah forward Jordan Loveridge with 10 seconds to play. Utah defenders tried to tie up Cook to force a jump ball, but nothing was called, and it appeared time was going to run out. The Utes started walking off the court. The Blue Devils began celebrating. But officials whistled a foul on Utah guard Brandon Taylor as the horn sounded. The refs went to the monitor and put 0.7 seconds back on the clock, before calling players back onto the floor for Cook's free throws. The senior missed the first one but made the second to give Duke a six-point win.
The favored Blue Devils were a popular public bet. Two hours before tipoff, 82 percent of all bets and 77 percent of the money wagered was on Duke at the William Hill sportsbook. Other books reported similar heavy action on the Blue Devils.
Been a crazy ride for the books this tourney, as they had an incredible opening day of the tourney, but now things have settled back with many favorites not only winning, but covering.
Hopefully that trend of favorites barely covering doesn't hold up today, as Arizona is favored by 1.5 over Bucky in tonight's Elite 8 matchup. Then again, I recall Arizona was a slight favorite going into last year's Elite 8 game with UW, and that ended up OK.
C'mon Bucky, let's do it again!
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