Battle of the Bluegrass produces 2011’s final bad beat

Kentucky gets backdoored by six points in the final 2.2 seconds

Firstly, hope everyone had a very Happy Holiday season. Wishing all Sportbetting3 readers a happy, healthy, successful, and profitable 2012. Lets cash them, not trash them.

New Year’s Eve tipped off with the Battle of the Bluegrass with #3 Kentucky (12-1) taking on #4 Louisville (12-1) in this year’s Battle of the Bluegrass. John Calipari vs Rick Pitino on national TV, this one figured to be an instant classic. Played at Adolf Rupp Arena, the Wildcats were rocking a 9-0 home record with eight wins by 22+ points. The lone non-double-digit win was a 73-72 win over North Carolina. The loss was a one-point buzzer beater at Indiana. Louisville was a off their first loss of the season, a four-point home loss to Georgetown. The Cards had played just one true road game, that a win at Butler. The line opened at most houses with Kentucky an 8.5 point favorite with a total of 137. The Wildcats were bet up to 9.5/10 with the total jumping to 139.

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If you like defense in a basketball game and shooting reminiscent of last year’s UConn/Butler NCAA final, you would have loved this game. It was physical right from the outset and closely called by the officials who were not about to let another rivalry game get out of hand. Ten personal fouls and a technical were called before the first TV timeout and it was painfully apparent that there would be little flow to the game.

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The Cats busted out to an 18-11 lead and extended that to 31-16 with just 5:09 left in the first half before a 13-0 cut the lead to two at the 2:51 mark. Kentucky took a 36-33 lead to the half with both teams shooting below 30% and 25 total fouls whistled.

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Just two total points were scored in the first 3:31 of the second half. After Louisville cut the KU lead to 41-40, the Wildcats began to impose their will extending the lead to 8-12 points. At the 5:00 mark the Wildcats led 58-48. Both teams at that point shooting an identicle 28% from the field, Kentucky owning substantial advantages at the line (16) and on the glass (20) as we turned for home.

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With just 8.9 second left on the clock, Kentucky freshman power forward Anthony Young stepped to foul line and calmly drained two fould shots to give Kentucky a 69-56 lead. For the people with tickets on Kentucky you were ahead by 13 laying 8.5 with Louisville 94 feet from the basket, eight seconds, and no time outs. Feeling pretty good ??? Don’t !!! You are about to get your heart ripped out one final time is 2011.

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Louisville reserve guard Russ Smith, the only card player in double figures with 30, rushes the ball up and shoots a 40-foot off-balance push shot and the bank is open. A missle off the glass hits nothing but net and it’s now 69-59 with 2.2 seconds left. Inbound the ball and go home right ??? Wrong !!! Louisville pressures the inbound and picks up the Wildcat guards in the halfcourt. Kentucky naturally throws the ball away. You know what happens next. Louisville inbounds the ball from under the Kentucky basket to a wide open Smith beyound the arc who promptly drills a nothing but net three foron 23-feet. 69-62 final. If you had Louisville, you got a late Christmas present. If you had Kentucky, you had more confetti for midnight.

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Don’t ever forget this thing we do is gambling and if something bad can happen, it generally will. No matter how long you do this, there will always be a new inexplicable way to lose a bet. Here’s wishing you Good Luck is 2012 and hoping you’re on the right side more often than not.

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