Arizona delivers agonizing bad beat in March Madness win over Long Beach State

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No. 15 seed Long Beach State delivered a gut-wrenching bad beat early on during Day 1 of the men’s NCAA Tournament on Thursday. 

Long Beach entered the Round of 64 as a massive 20.5-point underdog against the No. 2 Arizona Wildcats, who narrowly missed securing a No. 1 regional seed. 

Despite the gaudy point spread, Long Beach kept it close until late in the first half when the Wildcats began pulling away. 

Arizona took an 82-58 lead with 4:40 left and seemed on its way to not only moving onto the Round of 32 but covering the 20.5-point spread as well. 

But that’s when things got weird. 

With the game essentially in hand, the Wildcats would score just three points the rest of the way. 

Long Beach didn’t do much better, scoring just seven, but that was barely enough to get the win against the spread. 

Pelle Larsson #3 of the Arizona Wildcats drives to the basket against Jadon Jones #12 of Long Beach State in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Getty Images

And it came with some dramatics as well. 

Arizona missed three field goals plus a free throw in the final 1:15 — any one of those shots going in would have resulted in a win for Wildcats -20.5 bettors. 

The Wildcats also dribbled out the clock with a little more than 20 seconds left, delivering the agonizing blow with time ticking away and finishing with a final score of 85-65. 

Betting on College Basketball?

They were a popular team to cover despite the wide spread, garnering 57 percent of the handle at BetMGM Sportsbook.

The Wildcats will play the No. 7 seed Dayton Flyers during the second round on Saturday.

Arizona has the fourth-best odds (+1100) to win the tournament at FanDuel Sportsbook.

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