There are thousands of college basketball games over the course of a season. There are bad beats practically every night. It’s hard to single out one as the worst of the season.
But UC San Diego blowing the cover against UC Riverside on Wednesday night might actually be the worst beat of the season. It’ll be hard to find something comparable.
UC San Diego was a 3.5-point underdog and cruising. A dunk with 11:27 left put them up 59-41. Then the Tritons stopped scoring. Riverside finally chased them down and took a 68-66 lead with 39 seconds left.
Teams blow big leads all the time. That’s a bad beat but a common one. But then it got really awful for those UCSD bettors.
San Diego made a layup with eight seconds left, and trailed by one point when they ran out with 1.8 seconds to go. Bettors knew that even if UC Riverside made both, UCSD was going to squeeze by with a half-point win. It was going to take something really weird to lose that bet.
And here’s something really weird:
An inbounds pass right to Riverside’s Flynn Cameron, a 3-point attempt that meant nothing and was well behind the line, and a banked-in shot. That’s how UCSD +3.5 bettors lost.
Just to add a little more salt, Cameron had hit one of his 10 shots from the field before banking in that meaningless 3-pointer. What fun.
If you bet college basketball enough, you’ll experience all kinds of different ways to lose. But that UC San Diego beat was one you won’t see too often. Thankfully.