- Real-life Dr. Doolittle to reveal how to talk to animals
- Climate change could bring back smallpox, researchers say
- Shoe-bomb witness to speak from London at N.Y. trial
- New evidence could threaten Army sex assault case
- George Zimmerman signs autographs at Orlando gun show
- GOP lawmaker faces fire for NBA crime tweet
- Taliban vow to ‘use all force’ to disrupt Afghan elections
- Atheists sue to remove ‘Ground Zero Cross’ from 9/11 museum
- Bishop in Aleppo: ‘We Christians live in fear in Syria’
- Oscar Pistorius vomits during graphic testimony
A Final Four of big bets, busted brackets
Jay Kornegay isn’t sure who the guy is, or exactly what his motivation was. All he knows is no one is laughing at him now.
That probably wasn’t the case months ago when the man walked into the sports book at the Las Vegas Hilton, put $10 on the counter and pocketed a betting slip on Virginia Commonwealth to win the national championship. It was the kind of wager that can cause snickers among the knowing, much like betting on the Pittsburgh Pirates to win the World Series.
“Maybe it’s someone whose girlfriend went to VCU,” Kornegay said. “I don’t know. But you’d like to be holding that golden ticket.”
Who wouldn’t. Two more wins for the Rams, and they go into the record books as the most unlikely of all Cinderellas, the first team to win seven games in the NCAA tournament and win the national title.
And the bettor who holds the winning ticket will be a cool $50,000 richer. Try making that in your office pool.
“I was kind of hoping it would end yesterday,” said Kornegay, who runs the Hilton sports book. “I just shake my head thinking they’re in the Final Four.”
The Hilton book will survive, of course, even if VCU caps its remarkable run with the title. The betting in Vegas is that VCU won’t, with the Rams the longest shot of the Final Four teams at 9-2 odds.
But the beauty of the NCAA tournament is that there’s still room for marginal teams to get hot and do something magical. And they don’t get much more marginal than VCU, which was savaged on national television by ESPN’s Jay Bilas as unworthy when the field was announced and then made an underdog in every game by professional oddsmakers.
Add Butler to the mix, and even the wise guys are scratching their heads.
If the people who should know are confused, so are the average Joes. Well, not all the average Joes.
Joe Pearlman, who lives in East Brunswick, N.J., and works in information technology, was one of only two people out of 5.9 million entries in ESPN.com’s bracket tournament to pick all the Final Four teams correctly, something that could make him $10,000 should VCU go on to win the national title.
Pearlman’s wife, Susan, was busy at home Monday answering phone calls from people wondering how her husband is so smart, and explaining that he filled out a bracket just for fun and took only 10 minutes to complete it.
“Is this a big deal every year when this happens?” she asked.
This year it is, and the ESPN.com statistics show why. According to contest organizers, only 29.7 percent of the 5.9 million entries had at least one Final Four team correct, 2.1 percent had two right, and just 1,093 had three of the Final Four correct.
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- CURL: Today's GOP really is Reagan's 'Big Tent' party
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: 'We are going to crush them'
- Charges filed against accused 'shadow campaign' financier
- SAUERBREY: Taxing Marylanders until they flee
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Atheists sue to remove 'Ground Zero Cross' from 9/11 museum
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- As Crimea falls, Obama takes Key Largo golf vacation, Biden hits Virgin Islands
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again