When you wager on March Madness, there’s no such thing as a meaningless basket. The Houston Cougars defeated the Oregon State Beavers 67-61 in the Elite 8 to advance to the Final Four, but bettors were saved or crushed by an uncontested 3-pointer from the Beavers.

Maurice Calloo Oregon State Beavers bad beat Elite 8 Houston March Madness
Maurice Calloo from the Oregon State Beavers hit a last-second shot against the Houston Cougars that determined the betting outcome of the first March Madness Elite 8 game. (Image: Darron Cummings/AP)

With 11 seconds remaining, the #2 Houston Cougars led the #12 Oregon State Beavers 67-58, and it looked like the Cougars would cover the point spread, which ranged from anywhere between -7.5 and -8.5.

For bettors holding Oregon State tickets, Maurice Calloo bailed them out when he knocked down a 3-pointer with four seconds remaining. Houston won the game 67-61, but Houston bettors were kicked in the junk with a bad beat.

Calloo, a backup forward from Canada, averaged 5.8 points per game this season. He came off the bench and led the Beavers in scoring with 13 points and five rebounds in 13 minutes. Before the game’s last bucket, Calloo had tallied 10 points on 3-for-6 from the field including 1-for-3 from 3-point range. He took over the team lead in scoring with the uncontested 3-pointer.

In addition, Oregon State chose not to foul Houston when they inbounded the ball with four seconds remaining. Houston dribbled out the clock and under bettors cashed tickets with a total combined final score of 128 points. The total over/under for Houston and Oregon State opened at 130. The total was bet down to as low as 129 in some betting shops, but settled on 129.5.

Houston is now 2-2 ATS in March Madness this year.

Red-Hot Beavers Bounced

The first of four March Madness Elite 8 games tipped off on Monday evening and Houston seized control early on. Houston opened a 34-17 lead at halftime, doubling Oregon State’s anemic offensive output.

Oregon State stormed back in the second half. The Beavers went on a 17-3 run tied things up at 55-55 with a little under four minutes remaining. Houston counterattacked and pulled away, outscoring Oregon State 12-3 in the final three-plus minutes to seal the game. Of course, that was before Oregon State’s Calloo drilled the 3-pointer with four seconds remaining and the buzzer sounded with a 67-61 final score.

The Beavers entered the Elite 8 as the hottest team in March Madness. They were a bubble team and at the mercy of the March Madness selection committee. Then, the Beavers ran the table and won three games in three days to win the Pac-12 conference tournament. They knocked off UCLA, Oregon, and Colorado in the finals to secure an automatic bid to March Madness.

The March Madness selection committee bestowed the #12 seed upon Oregon State. The Beavers were the only #12 seed to win their opening-round game. Oregon State toppled every team in their path to become one of three underrated Pac-12 teams to reach the Elite 8.

Oregon State picked off #5 Tennessee in the first round, kept future #1 pick Cade Cunningham in check to upset #4 Oklahoma State in the second round, and then manhandled #8 Loyola Chicago in the Sweet 16. Houston ended the Beavers’ magical journey in the Elite 8.

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