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UConn's Late Free Throws Against Villanova Steal Win From Bettors

UConn forward Andre Jackson's free-throw strategy with two-tenths of a second remaining against Villanova on Tuesday affected those who bet the game's spread.

Bettors watching UConn defeat Villanova on Tuesday knew EXACTLY what they needed Andre Jackson to do at the free-throw line with two-tenths of a second left.

The game was all but over, since the Huskies led by one with Jackson stepping to the line for a one-and-one. What he did wouldn't affect whether UConn won.

But it definitely affected bets.

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Connecticut players celebrate after regaining possession of the ball in the final second of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Villanova, Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, in Hartford, Conn.

The Huskies, despite five straight losses to Villanova, entered Tuesday as slight favorites over the Wildcats. SI Sportsbook had UConn favored by two points.

So, what Jackson chose to do at the line affected which bets would be paid off. Villanova backers covered if he missed (intentionally or not) the first free throw. Hitting the first and missing the second would push. Hitting both cashed UConn covers.

The key to remember here is, ultimately, what Jackson chose to do had no bearing on the final result since Villanova couldn't score in two-tenths of a second, as long as no UConn player decided to commit what would have been one of the worst fouls in the history of the sport.

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Jackson, a career 77.8% free-throw shooter and 75.5% in 2021-22, connected on the first to burn Villanova +2 backers.

He then purposely missed the second to end the game with the final of 71-69.

A push for those who bet UConn laying the two points.

Villanova backers were already sick to their stomachs, considering the Wildcats has possession with a 4-point lead and less than 30 seconds remaining.

UConn bettors wished Jackson had just hit one more free throw considering Villanova could not have hit a shot to force overtime.

But, on the bright side, a push is at least better than a loss.

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