Rutgers’ ugly 3 somehow falls to cover spread


For most of Thursday night, Michigan looked like they’d cover. When Rutgers’ final shot hit the back of the rim, it still looked like the Wolverines would cover.

There are different levels of bad beats, and if you had Michigan you’re allowed to complain about a shot that had no business going in.

With 14.4 seconds left, Michigan hit two free throws to take a 71-61 lead. The Wolverines, one of the best teams in college basketball and a consensus projection as a No. 1 seed for the NCAA tournament, were -9 or -9.5 depending on when bettors grabbed them.

A lot of college basketball bets come down to one meaningless shot at the end, after the excruciating final minute of intentional fouling to extend the game. Bettors knew they’d need Rutgers to miss a shot that meant nothing to who won or lost the game, and that’s pretty common.

What’s not common is a 3-pointer from well behind the line hitting the heel of the rim and going dead, then falling through the hoop.

Because college basketball teams rarely give up fouling before the final buzzer, Michigan backers still probably expected Rutgers to foul with 8.4 seconds left to at least have a chance at a push for -9 bettors. Rutgers gave a half-hearted attempt at fouling a couple times, none of them were called, and the Scarlet Knights lost 71-64. Rutgers scored 9 points in the final 50.8 seconds to cover. 

For most of the game, Michigan backers felt like they had the right side. Then at the end, they were left wondering how that last shot went in.

Michigan Wolverines guard Mike Smith (12) drives on Rutgers center Myles Johnson (15). (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Michigan Wolverines guard Mike Smith (12) drives on Rutgers center Myles Johnson (15). (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)


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