NCAA March Madness bad beat: A meaningless, wide-open missed layup by Liberty broke bettors' hearts

Frank Schwab
·2-min read

If you had Liberty +7.5 on Friday in the NCAA tournament, condolences. 

Liberty battled hard against Oklahoma State and looked like the right side most of the game. Then Oklahoma State built up a lead, but Liberty still had a shot to cover for bettors. 

They actually had a phenomenal shot in the final second, right before the buzzer. 

When we get to the final seconds of an NCAA tournament game that is no longer up in the air, in terms of who advances, weird things can happen. Teams aren't trying to cover the spread. It's nice when they do though. 

So there was no reaction on the court when Liberty missed a last-second layup for the cover, though around the country there was probably plenty of reaction. 

Liberty had a layup to cover the spread

In the final seconds, Oklahoma State was running out the clock up 9 points, then tried to shoot and missed, and Liberty found itself with the ball. There was suddenly life for Liberty bettors, who needed the Flames to lose by 7 or less. 

Liberty took a long 3, which rimmed out. But then, seemingly a miracle. A Liberty player was right underneath for the rebound, no Oklahoma State player anywhere near him, with plenty of time to lay it in. 

And ... oh, no! 

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That miss of an absolute bunny of a layup determined who covered. Given how much is bet on March Madness, a lot of money was won or lost on that shot, and Liberty had no reaction to the miss. Nor should they; that shot didn't matter to the outcome of the game. 

But don't try telling Liberty bettors it didn't matter. It mattered a lot. 

Liberty's Darius McGhee (2) fouls Oklahoma State guard Rondel Walker (5) as Blake Preston also defends in a first-round NCAA tournament game. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Liberty's Darius McGhee (2) fouls Oklahoma State guard Rondel Walker (5) as Blake Preston also defends in a first-round NCAA tournament game. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)