John Calipari

Two Las Vegas sports books install Kentucky as early 2013-14 favorite

3 Comments

In the aftermath of Andrew Wiggins’ decision to attend Kansas, many opined that John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats would be fine due to the arrival of an eight-member recruiting class that includes six McDonald’s All-Americans.

The folks in Las Vegas seem to be in agreement.

Both Vegas Insider and Bovada have installed the Wildcats as the early favorites (5/1 odds on both sports books) to cut down the nets at Dallas Cowboys Stadium next April.

The interesting thing about the futures are the differences after Kentucky. While Bovada has Kansas in at 11/2 odds (second-best odds on the book) the Jayhawks aren’t as highly regarded by Vegas Insider, which has Kansas’ odds set at 15/1.

Following Kentucky on Vegas Insider’s board are Duke and defending national champion Louisville at 12/1, with Arizona, Florida and Michigan State joining Kansas at 15/1.

As for the Bovada odds, Kansas is followed by Louisville (17/2), Michigan State (12/1), Duke (14/1) and Arizona (15/1). North Carolina, which was one of the four finalists in the Wiggins “sweepstakes,” has its odds set at 16/1 on Bovada’s book and 25/1 on Vegas Insider’s book.

Florida State, considered by many to be the favorite to land Wiggins, has odds of 75/1 (Bovada) and 80/1 (Vegas Insider).

Some other interesting odds that stick out are Syracuse sitting at 40/1 on Vegas Insider (25/1 on Bovada) and Oklahoma State (50/1 odds on both books).

The Orange will makes its move to the ACC without three starters from this past season’s Final Four team but Jim Boeheim still has plenty of talent to work with, led by forward C.J. Fair and incoming freshmen Tyler Ennis and Tyler Roberson.

As for Oklahoma State, Travis Ford’s team was hailed as the extremely early favorite in the Big 12 following the decisions of Marcus Smart, Markel Brown and Le’Bryan Nash to return to Stillwater.

But with Kansas landing Wiggins that has changed in the eyes of more than a few prognosticators, which could turn the Cowboys into a value pick for bettors.

h/t CBS Sports

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

POSTERIZED: Pensacola State’s Jamal Thomas dunks through block attempt, makes coach go nuts

Leave a comment

A solid poster dunk went down in the junior college ranks last night as Pensacola State sophomore Jamal Thomas finished a dunk through a block attempt against Northwest Florida State.

The 6-foot-3 Thomas used his power and momentum to go through the opposing shot blocker and the play made his head coach, Pete Pena, go nuts with an over-exaggerated fist pump. The video is short, but be sure to watch for Pena’s reaction near the logo at the top right of the screen.

VIDEO: Boise State robbed of insane, buzzer-beating win on incorrect timing by officials

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 1.07.34 AM
Leave a comment

It looked like James Webb III of Boise State had hit the season’s craziest buzzer-beater.

With 0.8 seconds left, he caught an in-bounds pass on the run on the right wing, hoisted up a prayer of a three and watched as it banked it as the buzzer sounded.

It’s pretty fantastic:

And it also clearly left his hands before time expired, but there was a reason for that. According to the officials, the clock (for the road team, mind you) did not start when the ball was caught.

They were right.

Where they were wrong was determining that it took more than a second for Webb to catch and release the shot, meaning that they were wrong to waive off the bucket.

This awesome slo-mo clip of the shot from Matt Stephens of the Coloradoan is all the evidence I need, but if you need more, Sportscenter anchor Scott Van Pelt clocked it at 0.7 seconds:

The game would go to overtime, where Colorado State would go on to win, 97-93.

As you can imagine, Boise State players and coaches were livid with the call.

“I hope it’s not a situation where you get an apology later but don’t get the win. I don’t understand it,” head coach Leon Rice said in a radio interview after the game. “I hope they got it right somehow, some way. I don’t know. It didn’t look right to me, but I’m not the official.”

This comes just four days after officials blew a call in a game between New Mexico and San Diego State that allowed the Aztecs to force overtime and eventually beat the Lobos. (That call may have determined the outcome of the Mountain West regular season title, to boot.)

New Mexico was essentially told, “my bad”, but the league as a result.

And Boise State will probably get the same treatment despite the fact that, if the league determines that the referees botched this call as well, the tame technically was over then.

Will they have the guts to award the Broncos a road win that they earned and deserve?

I doubt it.

UPDATE: Here’s a statement from the officiating crew: