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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Duke's Meaningless Last Second Free Throw Cost Vegas Millions

Last night's Duke-Utah game seemingly ended in a 62-57 win for Duke. With eight seconds remaining Utah's Jordan Loveridge missed a three-pointer, and the Utah players only half-heartedly tried to foul or tie up the rebounder, Duke's Quinn Cook. But with 0.7 seconds left a referee blew for a foul against Cook, the sound of his whistle drowned out by the sound of the end-of-game buzzer. After some confusion, Cook was sent to the line where he sunk the second of two free throws, for a final score of 63-57. Cook's made free throw had no effect on the outcome of the game, but it did in Vegas, where Duke was a five point favorite at most sportsbooks.


This is a similar story to VCU's meaningless layup last week that caused bettors to go nuts. ESPN reports that most of the money bet on yesterday's games was bet on the Duke-Utah game, and most of that money was bet on Duke. Cook's final, meaningless free throw made for a lot of happy bettors and a lot of sad sportsbooks, with three different ones telling ESPN they suffered hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in losses, all based on a measly free throw.


I haven't been able to find any video of the moment. If you know of any, drop them in the comments.

Correction: The original version of the post had a video that I said was of the end of the Duke-Utah, but was actually the end of the Michigan State-Oklahoma game. Thanks to reader Neil for alerting me.

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