Late surge rescues handicapper

As the clock ticked down in Sunday's Memphis-Texas showdown, things looked bleak for Texas-based professional sports handicapper Paul Stone, who attended the game at Reliant Arena in Houston.

Stone appeared almost certain to lose his $880 wager on the 31/2-point underdog Longhorns, who trailed by double digits for most of the game, and he also was on pace to drop $1,430 on the over 1441/2.

Texas started fouling down the stretch, though, in a desperate attempt to extend the game and its season, and the Longhorns helped to bail out Stone in the process. The teams combined for 37 points in the final 3:47 and 20 in the last 2:32 to send the number well over the total in the Tigers' 85-67 (152) triumph.

"I was probably fortunate to get the wave of scoring there at the end," Stone said. "But I don't make a big deal of it when I have a disappointing defeat, nor do I make a big deal of it when I come from behind and maybe end up on the fortunate side of things."

After losing $880 on Texas, Stone took home a $420 profit in the game and added another $500 to his bankroll when tournament darling Davidson pushed Kansas to the limit in a 59-57 loss and covered the spread as a 9-point underdog.

"From a fan standpoint, it was disappointing Davidson didn't win the game outright, but they had a great tournament, continued to produce the magic (Sunday) and got the money again in the tournament," said Stone, who entered the day down $880 for the tournament but won $920 on Sunday to put him on the positive side of the ledger for the first time in the event.

After dropping $1,210 on the first weekend of the tournament, Stone stormed back on the second weekend and earned a profit of $1,250. He's up $40 overall with three games remaining.

Stone, who improved to 21-20-2 against the spread overall and 6-5-2 on totals, placed an early $220 wager on 1-point favorite Memphis, which will face UCLA on Saturday.

"I think That number will go up, and I'll probably add more (money)," Stone said. "Memphis is playing so well, and they're so long and athletic. UCLA is somewhat limited offensively, and Memphis has more weapons and is playing better than UCLA."