Michigan State was a 4.5-point favorite at home over rival Michigan on Saturday. And it took until there was a tenth of a second left in regulation for the Spartans to cover the spread. For real.
It was a very low-scoring game but Michigan State was able to build a 9-point lead by halftime. MSU held onto the lead for the entire second half, but Michigan fought to the end, holding the attention of those who bet on the point spread.
With 13 seconds to play, Michigan’s Hunter Dickinson hit a 3-pointer to cut MSU’s lead to 57-53. With the margin that slim, Michigan was still fouling to try to keep the game alive and MSU’s Tyson Walker missed the subsequent free throw.
That meant Michigan was down 4 with the ball with 10 seconds left. All of a sudden, it looked like those who backed the underdog Wolverines were going to cash their tickets. But a review changed things.
On the next possession, Dickinson airballed a 3-point attempt and the ball made its way to MSU’s Jaden Akins. Akins was fouled, but the whistle seemingly blew after the final whistle had sounded.
If that was indeed the case, Michigan +4.5 would cash. The officials went to the replay monitor and determined that there was 0.1 on the clock when Akins was fouled.
That sent Akins to the line for a pair of free throws that had no impact on the outcome of the game — unless you bet on the spread.
Fox announcer Gus Johnson was keenly aware of what was transpiring.
“Four and a half if you’re betting milkshakes,” Johnson quipped.
And of course, Akins calmly hit both free throws to give Michigan State a 59-53 victory.
It was a miracle for Michigan State bettors and quite a bad beat if you were on the underdogs.