Jan. 30: Marist -1.5 vs. Manhattan

It's not exactly Duke against North Carolina, but when it comes to gambling, it just doesn't matter. A win counts the same whether it's a girls division 87 volleyball match or a national championship game football between Oregon and Auburn. In the same vein a "Bad Beat" can be horrificly rough no matter who is on the field or court or whatever venue the thing is in.

Well, on Sunday, we went to the MAAC in a game between two bottom feeders involving the 3-18 Manhattan Jaspers and 4-18 Marist Red Foxes. Both teams are fairly terrible and going nowhere whatsoever.

Marist was the 1.5-point home favorite in a game that truly could have gone any which way as either team had the potential to stink up the joint and rack up another loss. The Foxes won in upset fashion a few weeks ago in Manhattan and now were looking for the ultra-rare sweep in the season series so I'm sure they had their fair share of backers Sunday.

Marist led 59-57 in the game's final minute but it turned the ball over and twice missed the front end of 1-and-1's. Still the score remained 59-57 in the waning seconds. The final missed free throw occurred with just two seconds left. The Jaspers grabbed the rebound and called an immediate timeout. Now this isn't the NBA where you can advance the ball without taking any time off the clock and have a real chance at a good shot nor is Christian Laettner in the building ready to repeat the amazing buzzer beater against Kentucky.

Manhattan inbounded the ball weakly just a few feet in front of its baseline 90 feet from the other basket so pretty much this thing was game, set, match Marist was going to win and get the narrow cover.

Pretty much? Actually it was more like "not so much."

Michael Alvarado took the pass in stride, had a few dribbles and miraculously banked in a half court shot at the buzzer for the 60-59 victory and gut-wrenching beat to any Marist backers laying the 1 1/2.

Seriously, are you kidding me!?