We’re still days away from the Super Bowl, but that doesn’t mean you’re not betting on some midweek games. We had a great college basketball slate on Tuesday night that saw the best team in the country go down. It was a great night to bet some college hoops.
That is, unless you have the Michigan Wolverines. Michigan was a 2-point favorite on the road in Happy Valley against Penn State. It’s one of those classic college lines. The biggest program and marquee name being a very short favorite on the road against a lesser conference opponent. Michigan isn’t anything special this year, but their name certainly has more basketball cachet than Penn State.
Michigan punters suffer a bad beat
Penn State got off to a good start on their home turf, leading Michigan by 11 points midway through the first half. However, Wolverines rallied and tied the game before half-time.
Michigan never trailed in the second half, but they never had a lead of more than six points. It was obvious that the game was going to come down to the last few seconds both from a results perspective and from a betting perspective.
With 3.4 seconds left and Michigan ahead by five, the Wolverines fouled Penn State’s Sam Sessoms as he fired a three-pointer. The announcers wondered if Sessoms was better served by purposely missing his last free throw to try to get a tip, but Sessoms was not interested. He made all three free throws and reduced the deficit to two.
Penn State then fouled and Michigan’s Eli Brooks made both free throws to extend the lead to four for Michigan. We all knew what was coming next, but the way it happened made it an even bigger bad beat for Michigan backers.
It’s worth noting that even before this play, Penn State called a timeout as soon as they got the ball across the halfcourt to set up a final play. It only led to the inevitable.
The directions for Michigan were clear; whatever happens, do not fault. They allowed Penn State’s John Harrar to go wide open under the basket with no one near him.
A two-pointer did nothing for Penn State, as they needed a three-pointer and somehow draw a foul in the process. Harrar sent the ball to Myles Dread beyond the arc. Michigan went out of its way to avoid the possibility of a foul, and Dread made the seemingly meaningless shot at the buzzer.
However, it was not meaningless for those who had Michigan -2. It was a brutal beatdown for Wolverines fans. It was a huge victory for those who supported Penn State. Even the announcer immediately acknowledged “it’s meaningful to some people.” Michigan won the game and they are happy. Their sponsors are less happy.