The 2023 NCAA Tournament got off to a chaotic start on Thursday with miraculous upsets by No. 15 seed Princeton over No. 2 seed Arizona and No. 13 seed Furman topping No. 4 seed Virginia.
As exciting as some of those results were, there was also a very bad gambling beat mixed into the fray on Day 1 of March Madness. No. 12 seed College Charleston was a 5.5-point underdog against No. 5 seed San Diego State in the South Region, and were just a few ticks away from covering the spread.
Enter the whistle-happy officials.
With just 0.7 seconds left in the game and the Cougars trailing 61-57, a late tie-up led to a foul call as the clock was winding down. In fact, it appeared that clock actually went down to all zeros.
A VERY IMPORTANT FOUL 👀— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) March 16, 2023
San Diego St. (-5.5) would go on to make both free throws and cover 😅 ✅pic.twitter.com/kQHAlFHCSn
Some thought that the clock could've actually expired prior to the foul call, or it was just a jump ball. But nope, San Diego State junior guard Micah Parrish headed to the free-throw line, where he knocked down both attempts to earn the Aztecs a 63-57 victory in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
For San Diego State bettors, it was a gift from the gambling gods. For College of Charleston bettors, it was the ultimate gut punch.
At Caesars Sportsbook, 51 percent of the spread bets were on the College of Charleston, so the pain was felt by a large number of people. What a rough way to start out March Madness from a non-bracket gambling perspective.