Kentucky forward Oscar Tshiebwe had a major effect on many people’s wallets and mental state last night. For many bettors, the Kentucky-South Carolina game Tuesday night was the worst beat of 2022, and we’re less than a month and a half in.
Depending on what book or app you used to bet on this game, the spread opened at Kentucky (-11.5) and closed at Kentucky (-10.5). No matter when bettors put this bet down, the final seconds would determine whether or not they won. With less than five seconds to go in the game and Kentucky up ten, Tshiebwe had a wide open look at the rim. Nobody else is even in frame with Tshiebwe. At this point, if you bet Kentucky, you’re probably screaming at your TV set for Tshiebwe to dunk the ball.
“It’s free points! Slam it home! Why not boost your stats a little bit? You’ve got 18 points, let’s make it a cool 20!”
If you bet on South Carolina, you’re still probably screaming at your monitor.
“It’d be disrespectful to take that shot. Just hold onto the ball! Running out the clock is the smart thing to do!”
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Both sides are hyperventilating, eagerly awaiting Tshiebwe’s decision. He looks like he’s heading up for the dunk, then pulls back at the last moment. Kentucky bettors drop their heads in defeat as Tshiebwe dribbles away from the rim. But HARK! There’s hope. As Tshiebwe starts looking toward the Kentucky bench, head coach John Calipari looks Tshiebwe in the eyes and points to the rim, telling Tshiebwe to take the shot. There’s a glimmer of hope in every Kentucky bettors’ eyes. Tshiebwe turns around with a smile on his face. He’s going to do it! He’s going to take the shot! He’s going to win them money!
However, this was all for naught. By the time Coach Cal had changed Tshiebwe’s mind, the clock was at just one second. Time expired just as Tshiebwe left the ground. To make matters even worse, Tshiebwe’s “dunk heard around the betting world” was emphatic. It shook Colonial Life Arena. All the fans who hadn’t left already shouted in harmonious cheer as Tshiebwe threw the ball down with tremendous force, but Kentucky bettors weren’t cheering. They were left speechless, jaws on the floor, and hands on their head wondering what in the world they just witnessed. Here’s the full video:
Perhaps Tshiebwe was raised not to show up his opponents. I know that’s how many athletes are told to act. Show humility when you win, sportsmanship when you lose, and respect for your opponent always. Still, that’s not how every athlete acts.
On Tuesday night, Arkansas took down No. 1 Auburn — the Razorbacks’ second win over a ranked opponent all season. It was a shocking upset, well-deserving of the mob that stormed the court after the final buzzer sounded. However, what drew more attention was the disrespect shown by Arkansas guard Davonte Davis when, in the final seconds, with his team up four, game in hand, Davis proceeded to throw a lob to himself and throw down a dunk. If that wasn’t bad enough, Davis held onto the rim and swung back into Auburn guard Wendell Green Jr.’s face. It was an impeccable display of disrespect, and while the basket didn’t count, it was clear that Davis wanted the points, unlike Tshiebwe.
If only Davis and Tshiebwe had swapped bodies at that moment, Arkansas still would’ve won and Kentucky bettors would’ve had their money. But alas, Tshiebwe is a better sport than Davis and because of his kind-hearted nature, many Kentucky fans woke up poorer this morning.