Big AL – NCAA
Las Vegas streets and supermarket parking lots were unusually deserted Friday night as Sin City residents flocked home or attended parties to cheer on their beloved Sweet 16 Rebels.
UNLV’s (impossible) dream of a spot in the NCAA Elite Eight Tournament was abruptly interrupted 76-72 by Oregon in the Midwest Regional semifinals in St. Louis, an accurate forecast from Las Vegan / Los Angeleno and member of the Professional Handicappers League Big Al McMordie.
“I don’t think so,” former attorney McMordie said Thursday when asked if he thought “our” rebels could do it.
“That’s why I gave my Oregon clients minus 2 1/2.”
McMordie, who splits his time between the two western US cities, and fellow PHL member / friend Scott Spreizter saw a bubble burst Thursday night as their future “big money” outfits play at Texas A &
M on 50/1 went down the tubes.
“That’s where the hearts are,” he said.
Unsurprisingly, Las Vegas gambling shops were packed with locals, including rabid Rebel fans, juggling their own hearts and heads; bookmakers, many of whom openly declared they were “home runs” for the night, followed suit.
Sentiment is always a good comfort, but for players, a winning ticket and beating the house beats it!
The Ducks, comfortably ahead for much of the second half, until the final minutes, ended up covered (in many cases), thanks to a couple of last-second free throws.
The spread was generally Oregon minus 2 1/2 for the week, but the number slid to 3 at the start.
BoDog.com and CalNeva had it at 4.
The No. 2 seed Georgetown at East Rutherford and North Carolina top seeds at East Rutherford and defending national champion Florida at St. Louis also won Friday.
Hoyas, the 7 1/2 to 8-point favorite, edged Vanderbilt 66-65, while the Tar Heels covered 8-9 with a 74-64 win over USC and the Gators got a big scare from stubborn Butler, winning 65-57 but not cover 10.
Therefore, it is still possible for the four No. 1 seeds to advance to the Final Four.
BoDog.com Friday night featured top seed Kansas as a 2 1/2 point pick over No. 2 UCLA in San Jose in a Saturday event, though there were 2.
The same goes for Ohio State, the top-ranked and No. 1 seed, which BoDog.com favored 2 1/2 over Memphis in San Antonio.
Totals were 129 for the Jayhawks-Bruins and 135 for the Buckeyes-Tigers.
The March to Atlanta continues Sunday in St. Louis with Florida-Oregon and in East Rutherford with Georgetown-North Carolina.
Olympic opened the Tar Heels with options of 3 1/2 points and others followed.
McMordie says he’s been “swimming” in hoops so much that he’s still unaware of his baseball handicap, but he promises to hit the books, so to speak, when he returns from a European trip next week.
“Ask me about the Spurs,” he added.