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5 wild endings that swung millions for bettors on the first day of March Madness

Published by Business Insider on Sat, 23 Mar 2019

The first day ofMarch Madnessaction is in the books.Thursday didn't see any huge upsets, but there was still plenty of wild endings for those betting on individual games in Las Vegas.Below we break down the worst bad beats of the first day of March Madnessfive games that were decided by two points or less for those betting the spread.It's estimated that more than $8 billion will be bet on March Madnessthis year between bets, pools, and pick'ems.While that estimate is obviously a rough oneit's extremely difficult to judge for all the bracket pools happening in offices, schools, and bars across the countryit's indicative of something we know to be true: we are betting a ton on college basketball this year.For those betting on brackets, the first day of the tournament was a rather calm one.No. 12 Murray State was the lowest-seeded team to win an opening game, and the Racers wereone of the most popular upset picks. Other than them, just three teamsNo. 10 Florida, No. 10 Minnesota, and No. 9 Baylordefeated a team with a higher seed.But for those betting individual games against the spread, Thursday was full of nail-biting action, with five games coming down to the wire and ultimately being decided by two points for those playing by Las Vegas' numbers.Below we break down the five bad beats of the first day of March Madness action.No. 14 Yale rallies late to cover against No. 3 LSUClosing line: LSU -7Final score: LSU 79, Yale 74How the ending played out: LSU had taken a 16-point lead into halftime, which had Tigers bettors feeling comfortable, but Yale fought back through the second half to make things close once again.Yale cut the deficit to 5 points with just two minutes remaining, and soon began playing the foul game. LSU was hitting their free throws, but Yale drained two three-pointers in the final 15 seconds that proved good enough for the cover.No. 4 Florida State passes on easy basket that would have covered in final seconds against No. 13 VermontClosing line: Florida State -8.5Final score: Florida State 76, Vermont 69How the ending played out: Vermont had kept things close all game, but Florida State began to pull away late in the game, building up an 8-point lead that made Seminoles backers think they might be able to cover once Vermont started fouling.Instead, with the win wrapped up, Florida State gave up an easy basket in the closing seconds, then passed up a wide open bucket on the final possession to let the clock expire. A fine win for Florida State fans, but a heartbreaking bad beat for their bettors.No. 11 Belmont pushes No. 6 Maryland to the brinkClosing line: Maryland -3Final score: Maryland 79, Belmont 77How the ending played out: Maryland took the lead with three minutes left and never gave it back to Belmont, but Belmont kept things close enough to cover in the end. Maryland's Darryl Morsell had the chance to make the bet a pushwith a final free throw with two seconds left in the game, but missed.See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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