A relative unknown one week ago, Davidson sophomore guard Stephen Curry has come a long way in a short time. He is suddenly the most talked-about player remaining in the NCAA Tournament.
Forget about Michael Beasley, O.J. Mayo and the 3-point shooters for Duke.
Curry has carried the Wildcats to the Sweet 16. And here's another sign that he has arrived -- Curry is the subject of a popular proposition wager.
Davidson is a 41/2-point underdog to Wisconsin in Friday's Midwest Regional semifinal game at Detroit. The Badgers are known for their physical, suffocating defense. The prop for Curry's total points is set at 221/2.
"It's not like he's going to sneak up on the Badgers," Las Vegas Hilton sports book director Jay Kornegay said. "All they have been hearing for four or five days is, 'Curry, Curry, Curry.' I'm sure their game plan is to make sure one guy doesn't beat them. That would be on my chalkboard."
Curry scored 40 points, 30 in the second half, in a first-round victory over Gonzaga. He followed by pouring in 30 points, 25 in the second half, in a second-round win against Georgetown.
The Gold Sheet handicapper Bruce Marshall said the smart wager to make is on Curry scoring more than 221/2 against Wisconsin.
"If Curry can get 30 against Georgetown, with the way their guys defend the perimeter, I think he can do something in this game," Marshall said. "If he gets his looks, he's going to bury them."
Curry is not a surprise to all who follow college basketball. He was the top player in the Southern Conference, and Davidson entered the NCAA Tournament on a 22-game win streak.
The Hilton has posted 32 proposition bets on the Sweet 16, with four on each of the eight games, including:
• Total points and rebounds for North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough in today's game against Washington State: 281/2.
• Total points and rebounds for UCLA's Kevin Love in today's game against Western Kentucky: 271/2.
• Total points and rebounds for Kansas' Brandon Rush in Friday's game against Villanova: 191/2.
• Total points for Texas' D.J. Augustin in Friday's game against Stanford: 181/2.
Marshall (goldsheet.com) said he recommends taking Western Kentucky as a 121/2-point underdog against UCLA today in Phoenix.
"Love is tremendous, but the Bruins are having some real struggles on the offensive end," Marshall said. "They are getting some big breaks, and the calls that keep going their way are pretty ridiculous.
"I think UCLA is vulnerable, especially laying so many points. I would not be surprised to see UCLA get knocked out this week."
Contact reporter Matt Youmans at firstname.lastname@example.org or (702) 387-2907.