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Five worst bad beats of the 2017 NCAA tournament

The NCAA tournament provides an abundance of games for bettors, which inevitably leads to some bad beats. Here are the five worst ones from the 2017 NCAA tournament.


First Four

USC Trojans vs. Providence Friars

Closing line: USC -2

The first bad beat of this year's tournament came the night before the opening Thursday. Those who took Providence in this First Four game couldn't have asked for a better start, as the underdogs led by 15 at halftime. The Friars extended that lead to 17 early the second half, before it all fell apart -- they made just three field goals in over a 10-minute span to let USC back in it.

After giving up the lead with under seven minutes left, Providence never got it back. The Trojans would win by four, giving those on the Friars a rough start to this year's tournament. As for USC, it wouldn't be the last time it brought misery to bettors.

Final score: USC 75, Providence 71 (USC covers)

First round

Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Michigan Wolverines

Closing line: Michigan -2.5

No game in this year's tournament had more combined points than the 183 scored in Indianapolis between Oklahoma State and Michigan. The final three points provided those on Michigan -2.5 one the worst bad beats in recent tournament memory.

The Wolverines led by seven in the final minute, but a pair of missed free throws by Duncan Robinson -- both on the front-end of a one-and-one -- opened the door for Oklahoma State. While two made free throws by D.J. Wilson sealed the win for the Wolverines by putting them up four with 3.7 seconds left, the spread was still in play. In what was a shot that will haunt those on Michigan for some time, Oklahoma State's Jawun Evans nailed an NBA-range 3-pointer at the buzzer to make the final margin one point.

Final score: Michigan 92, Oklahoma State 91 (Oklahoma State covers)


Second round

USC Trojans vs. Baylor Bears

Closing line: Baylor -5

For the third time in five nights, USC faced a double-digit deficit. But as those on Providence and/or SMU in the previous games learned: Don't count out the Trojans.

Baylor led by 10 in the first half before allowing USC to come back and actually take the lead late in the second half. The Bears would regain control and looked to reward bettors who backed them by taking an 82-76 lead with 5 seconds left. But in one of the strangest tip-ins you'll see, USC's Chimezie Metu flicked the ball in at the buzzer after rebounding a missed 3-pointer. The Trojans finished their tournament run by covering in all three of their games.

Final score: Baylor 82, USC 78 (USC covers)


Elite Eight

Xavier Musketeers vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs

Closing line: Over/under 145

After a high-scoring first half in which Xavier and Gonzaga combined for 88 points, bettors on the over needed just 58 after halftime to cash their tickets.

The second half, however, was a different story.

The teams combined for 54 points while making less than a third of their shots. Xavier's struggles were particularly frustrating for those on the over -- the Musketeers scored 20 points and shot 1-for-11 on 3-point attempts. With 10 minutes left in the game, Xavier trailed 69-53, as the combined points were 23 shy of the closing over/under. The Musketeers would score six more points from that point on, including two in the final four minutes. The game went under by three points.

Final score: Gonzaga 83, Xavier 59 (game goes under)


Final Four

Oregon Ducks vs. North Carolina Tar Heels

Closing line: Over/under 153.5

If you took the over and got it at 153.5 (closed anywhere from 152.5 to 153.5 at most Vegas books), you don't need to be reminded of what happened at the end of this game.

Forget the fact that two of the best offenses in the country both shot under 38 percent, this bad beat will be remembered by four free throws in the final seconds.

With his team leading 77-76 with 5.8 seconds left, North Carolina's Kennedy Meeks went to the free throw line for two shots, with those on the over needing one more point to win their bet. Meeks would miss both, but the Tar Heels got the rebound and Oregon sent them right back to the line with 4.0 seconds left. This time, Joel Berry II -- an 81 percent free throw shooter entering the game -- stepped up to the charity stripe. Somehow, Berry missed both and North Carolina ran out the clock after yet another offensive rebound.

Final score: North Carolina 77, Oregon 76 (game goes under)