A 5-Day Search for the Truth: Should Virginia’s Spread-Covering Shot vs. Duke Have Counted?
- On Saturday, De'Andre Hunter hit a buzzer-beater at the end of the Virginia-Duke college basketball game that swung spread bets (this line was Duke -3.5/4 and the Blue Devils won by two).
- But after careful investigation, we have reason to believe the spread-swinging shot MAYBE should not have counted.
Let me start by saying I did NOT lose money on De’Andre Hunter’s “buzzer-beater” at the end of the Virginia-Duke game on Saturday night like many bettors holding Duke -3.5/4 tickets did.
I was, however, running the @ActionNetworkHQ social handle during the game and rushed to post the clip on Twitter when it happened.
We quickly received a reply from @rflippp: Looked like ball was still on his fingertips when buzzer was going…😤😤
After thinking the shot was close to being late in real time and reading the reply, I went frame-by-frame and noticed that our friend rflippp might have been right.
I posted a slowed down version of the video on Twitter asking if the shot was actually taken in time.
Immediately, our own Stuckey hopped in the replies saying “Yes.”
I headed to our internal College Basketball Slack channel to confront my newfound enemy….
connor.nolte [8:53 PM]
@stuckey this 100% was touching his fingertips when the light on the backboard turns on
stuckey [8:54 PM]
You’re drunker than me. Impressive
connor.nolte [8:54 PM]
lol stuck…look at the light on the backboard. not espn’s clock which is clearly lagging
stuckey [9:09 PM]
Didn’t you reach enough on defense at Georgia? 😘
connor.nolte [9:16 PM]
Haha. I’m serious here though dude… we never see the light when it is off, meaning it turns on before the light enters the picture… the ball is in his hands that whole time and looks like its still touching his fingertips when we DO see the clock.
(I was not affected by this shot financially)
stuckey [9:22 PM]
Not one Action employee chimed in. I couldn’t believe it. I needed a definitive angle but there was nothing to be done. The broadcast didn’t show a replay of the inconsequential shot.
I got back to work — and by work I mean harassing Darren Rovell as much as possible — for the next 3 days.
On Wednesday afternoon, I saw this PJ Walsh tweet:
It was also the most heavily bet college basketball game of the season, according to @Bet_Labs.
Number two was Duke-Kentucky on Nov. 6. https://t.co/c0MViGyRtC
— PJ Walsh (@PJWalsh24) January 23, 2019
I realized I owed it to myself — but more importantly, the thousands of bettors affected, to give this play one last look.
In a last-ditch effort, I pulled up WatchESPN’s archives to see if any of their alternate broadcasts were in the library and it turned out that they had archived their Iso-Cam Broadcast.
I pulled it up and skipped to the final 8.3 seconds and zoomed in on the tiny portion of the screen that was not devoted to Zion Williamson and present to you my findings:
What do you think? Would Hunter’s shot have counted if this shot had won the game for Virginia?