A Late Three Gave Oregon State A Backdoor Cover Against Houston


After trailing by a 34-17 margin at the halftime break of their Elite 8 matchup against the No. 2 seed Houston Cougars on Monday, the cinderella run of the No. 12 seed Oregon State Beavers appeared to be fading away with haste. While Oregon State was not able to complete the massive comeback to earn a Final Four berth, Wayne Tinkle’s team made things very interesting in the second half. In fact, the Beavers knocked down a three-pointer in the final seconds that was… significant to some.

In order to set up the drama in the final minutes, Oregon State first put together a 10-0 run to cut a 14-point second half deficit down to 52-48.

From there, the Beavers eventually tied the game at 55-55 with 3:48 to go, albeit for only a moment.


Along the way, Houston did Oregon State some favors, missing key free throws to keep the margin manageable. To be fair, Oregon State wasn’t really in the mix in the last 60 seconds, but they were doing just enough to stay in touch and continue to intentionally foul.

That was significant in that, for those interested in handicapping the NCAA Tournament from a point spread perspective, Oregon State entered this game as an eight-point underdog. A cover seemed to be a pipe dream for about the first 30 minutes, but Houston’s 32.3 percent shooting kept the door open. The Beavers also shored up its ball security, avoiding a turnover for more than 19 minutes to begin the second half, and the stage was set for Maurice Calloo to bring it home.


With Oregon State trailing by nine points, Calloo dribbled to his left, gave a bit of an up-fake and launched a three-pointer that found the bottom of the net.

That took the margin from nine to six, swinging what was probably a (very) large sum of money across the sports betting landscape. For Houston backers, this was brutal, even with the caveat that the Cougars simply weren’t that good on offense in this game. Houston needed 19 offensive rebounds to get the win, and they should feel fortunate to reach the Final Four.

At the same time, Oregon State probably didn’t “deserve” to cover here after the hole it dug. Still, the end result is all that matters, and as the saying goes, good teams win and great teams cover.


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