Overtime leads to costly loss

Bettors clutching tickets on underdogs rarely want to see a close game go into overtime.

Such was the case for professional handicapper Paul Stone on Sunday, when he had a $660 ticket on 41/2-point underdog Butler, which tied Tennessee 63-all with 35 seconds remaining in regulation.

"As the game came down to the end of regulation, I was hoping Tennessee would win or Butler would win outright," he said. "Because when you get into an overtime situation, anything can happen."

Much to Stone's chagrin, neither team scored again in regulation and the game went into overtime, where Tennessee's JaJuan Smith sank four free throws in the final 14 seconds, including two with four seconds left, to give the Volunteers a 76-71 victory.

That sealed Stone's defeat by a half-point.

"That game obviously hurt," said Stone, who went 5-5 Sunday and lost $370, putting him down $1,210 for the NCAA Tournament, despite a winning overall record (15-14-2).

Stone won on the Siena-Villanova second-half over 78 ($800), Miami (Fla.) ($500), North Carolina ($500), Davidson ($400) and Mississippi State ($400). He also lost on Georgetown-Davidson under 131 ($880), Memphis in the second half ($550), Siena ($440) and San Diego ($440).

While Miami's rally to cover against Texas and underdog Davidson's comeback to beat Georgetown worked out well for Stone, he lost a big play on the under in the Georgetown game as the Hoyas got hot.

"I didn't expect Georgetown to shoot over 60 percent in an NCAA Tournament game," he said.

Stone also got burned in the Memphis-Mississippi State game, winning his original play on the Bulldogs but losing his halftime wager on Memphis (-21/2), which led 36-27 at the half but won 77-74.

"I thought the Tigers would put away Mississippi State in the second half," Stone said.

Stone, who will leave Las Vegas today and return to Texas for the rest of the tournament, can erase his deficit and turn a small profit if he hits his parting shot -- a wager of $1,430 on Texas, a 1-point favorite over Stanford on Friday.

The game will be in Houston, 175 miles from the University of Texas at Austin.

"This is like a home game for the Longhorns," Stone said. "I think the home neutral site is worth at least two points to Texas, and I thought Texas would be a 21/2- to 3-point favorite over Stanford."