Artificial Intelligence Swarm Algorithm Correctly Predicts Top Four Derby Superfecta, and Why all Degenerate Gamblers Should Care

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UNU–  …That’s why the holy grail at the racetrack is the Superfecta, where bettors are asked not only to pick the winner, but the second, third and fourth horses to finish the Derby. This is fiendishly difficult task that, not surprisingly, defeated every expert at Churchill Downs, where no one predicted the top four horses correctly, much less in the correct order. In the world of AI, even Bing Predicts blew it, picking only heavily favored Nyquist to win the race, but missing the other 3 picks entirely.

So, when Hope Reese, a reporter for Tech Republic and the Atlantic, challenged Unanimous A.I. to use UNU to predict the winners of the Kentucky Derby, “we were reluctant to take on this challenge,” says David Baltaxe, Chief Information Officer at Unanimous. “Nobody here knows anything about horse racing, and it’s notorious for being highly unpredictable.  Still, UNU surprises us again and again, so we recruited a swarm of volunteers through an online ad. The whole thing took 20 minutes.”

During an initial 10-minute session, the group used UNU to answer questions as a unified Swarm Intelligence, narrowing the field of 20 horses down to four winners. The swarm was then asked to order the four winners into Win, Place, Show, and Fourth. Then, a week later the Kentucky Derby announced the post positions of the horses, which impacts the potential outcome. So, the Swarm Intelligence was convened again, and asked if any changes should be made. One of the four picks was replaced by an alternate. This process took another 10 minutes.

Over the weekend, the “UNU” team successfully predicted the top four finishers in the Kentucky Derby, leading the team to cash in on almost $13,000 dollars on a $20 bet. UNU, or Unanimous Artificial Intelligence, develops technologies for Swarm intelligence. This software allows users to put together their intelligence in a swarm-like fashion to combine emotions, thoughts, and feelings in real time. This process can be used to make decisions, answer questions, or to help answer debates. For those of you familiar with the Swarm concept in drone technology (..crickets), this technology works in a similar fashion.

Swarm is not just a simple aggregate of opinions as a survey is. The technology actually works to avoid biases by creating a real-time dynamic system, constantly changing with each additional person’s input. The participants in this case of the Kentucky Derby were not horse racing experts, just regular fans working with the same goal in mind. The easiest way to understand the swarm is that it is a collection of everyone’s brain making a decision all in the same time frame.

Having said that, I know your local degenerate gambler does not give a shit about swarm technology. However, what I think they should pay attention to is how this system correctly predicted the Superfecta this weekend, and what this means for the future of sports betting. Based on my calculations, the odds of correctly picking the top four correct in the Derby are 1 in 116280 (20*19*18*17, avoiding handicaps). The fact that the algorithm correctly picked not just the favorite to win, but Exaggerator, Gun Runner, and Mohaymen to follow in that order is something else.

Although sports have a certain degree of randomness to them, what you need to understand is that over time, results are not random. The reason why sharps make lines that are almost always spot on is that they use the resources of statistics and probability to make accurate predictions over the long-run in sports. Algorithms like this one will allow bettors who do not necessarily have the means to make these determinations to pool their collective resources together. As sports become more and more predictable as our computational abilities become more and more advanced, sports betting will forever change as we know it. Although odds do change to reflect accuracy over time, the winning margins will become smaller and smaller. Listen, I’m not saying that this bot will be correct forever. In fact, the race broke as many had predicted, resulting in the top four finish. But over time, no one can argue that these technologies will help bolster the abilities of bettors around the world. The only thing that won’t be affected will be March Madness, because I don’t think any computer predicted Middle Tennessee State to knock off the Spartans this past March (had the Spartans winning the whole thing…).

-KJ

10 Sports Facts that People Often Forget: 3-1

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Sports have an extremely rich and diverse history in the United States. Throughout time, sports have had the unique ability to instill distinctive memories in people that last a lifetime. With the sports calendar as it is today, it is almost impossible to keep track of all of the various occasions and moments that happen throughout the major sports on a daily basis. Some facts and events often become lost to the mind, fading away with time or blocked by more recent eccentricities. There have been many recent and interesting sport facts that people seem to forget, which may one day prove useful in future sports trivia games or arguments amongst friends at a bar.

3. Bo Jackson was an All-Star in Both the NFL and the MLB

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Much like Michael Jordan and his quest for success in multiple sports, Bo Jackson was a successful NFL player who wished to transition to a new sport. Bo was known for his insane speed and quickness as well as his likable personality. His ability to dominant on the field and in the ballpark led multiple teams to express interest in acquiring him throughout the two sports. At the end of his career, Bo Jackson played for the Oakland Raiders as well as the Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox, and California Angels before calling it a career in 1994. However, most people don’t know that Bo Jackson was in fact not just a two-sport athlete, but an All-Star in both sports to boot.

Although Bo Jackson was known for his football abilities both in college football and in the pros, it is on the baseball diamond where Bo Jackson had the longer and more successful career. In fact, many sportswriters call Bo not being in the MLB Hall of Fame one of the biggest snubs in the league. Of course, Bo Jackson’s chances were most likely hurt by the fact that he decided to split his career among two different sports, but nonetheless his achievements are noteworthy in both the NFL and MLB. Specifically, his football achievements include a Heisman Trophy in 1985, a Pro Bowl appearance in 1990, a 1993 Comeback player of the year, and a 1999 College Football Hall of Fame induction. Bo’s baseball achievements include a 32 HR and 105 RBI season in 1989, and an all-star nomination in the same year. Without question, “Bo Knows” how to dominate the two sports.

2. Pittsburg is the Only US City that has Every Major Sports Team Wear the Same Color Scheme

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Cities throughout America have a multitude of different sporting teams. Each team often defines the culture of the city and the people that support them. This sentiment rings absolutely true in Pittsburg, the city of steel complete with hard-nose and hard-working people. The major teams of Pittsburg are the Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates. Each has historically been known for its tremendous fan support and universal love throughout the city. Everywhere you go throughout Pittsburg, you will without a doubt see a logo of one of the three teams.

However, what people seem to forget or perhaps not even realize is that Pittsburg is the only US city that has each team and subsequent logo don the same Black and Gold colors. The colors come from the city’s flag, which in turn comes from the coat of arms of William Pitt, the prime minister of England in the 18th century for which the city is named after. Although the Penguins and Pirates have worn blue and white colors in the past, they eventually joined with the Steelers united in Black and Gold. Throughout the city, black and gold are prevalent almost everywhere you look, signaling the strength of the ties the teams have with the community. I guess it must be pretty difficult to differentiate yourself in a Pittsburg sports bar!

1. There is technically no 2004-2005 NCAA Football National BCS Champion

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Everyone seems to remember the 2004-2005 USC Trojans as one of the most dominant teams in college football history. The team went 12-0 under quarterback Matt Leinart and NFL-caliber running back Reggie Bush. The team went on to face Oklahoma in the BCS National Championship game, which was played that year in the Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens, Florida. USC took a 38-10 lead into halftime, and never looked back on their way to a 55-19 routing. The team was so dominant that they set Orange Bowl Records for most points scored (55), most passing touchdowns (5, Matt Leinart), and most receiving touchdowns (3, Steve Smith) (REF)).

However, people forget that this team in fact had to vacate all of their wins this season, including the Orange Bowl National Championship win, because of ineligible player Reggie Bush. The NCAA ruled that Bush and his family had received improper benefits from outside parties, and ruled that the team did little to monitor and fix the situation. Not only did Bush lose out on his Heisman trophy and his team’s championship in 2005, but the entire USC program also faced sanctions of 30 lost scholarship players over 3 years. Without question, this was one of the harshest penalties the NCAA has ever handed down besides the infamous “Death Penalty” for SMU. Although the 2004 USC team was one of the most impressive teams to ever play the game, the record books will forever indicate otherwise.

 

Click here  for Numbers 10-7 and here for Numbers 6-4

-KJ

 

10 Sports Facts that People Often Forget: 6-4

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Sports have an extremely rich and diverse history in the United States. Throughout time, sports have had the unique ability to instill distinctive memories in people that last a lifetime. With the sports calendar as it is today, it is almost impossible to keep track of all of the various occasions and moments that happen throughout the major sports on a daily basis. Some facts and events often become lost to the mind, fading away with time or blocked by more recent eccentricities. There have been many recent and interesting sport facts that people seem to forget, which may one day prove useful in future sports trivia games or arguments amongst like-minded friends.

(Click here for Numbers 10-7)

6. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick went to Harvard University

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Most people know one of the most famous athletes to come out of Harvard in the recent past, Jeremy Lin. Lin took New York and the Knicks by storm with his fiery play in the winter of 2012. However, people often forget that another Harvard athlete had perhaps much more success in an even bigger role. Ryan Fitzpatrick, the current NY Jets Quarterback, has had his share of relative success in the NFL. Bursting on the scene in 2005 with his almost perfect Wonderlic score at the NFL combine, the mathematics major was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the 7th round and started 11 games into the next season.

Although his first couple of years in the league didn’t stand out too much, his last year with the NY Jets was one of the best of his career. There are rumors of Fitzpatrick sitting out the season if the Jets do not renegotiate his contract, but for the most part it looks like Fitz will be leading the team once again next season. Fitzpatrick may go down as one of the best-ever football players to come out of the Ivy League, besides Ed Marinaro of course.

5. Big Ten Basketball has had Only One National Title since 1990

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Each March, 64+ teams across the nation compete for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. Scores of people fill out brackets in an attempt to win money or pride in their abilities. Without question, the Big Ten has been one of the more dominant basketball conferences in the nation, with multiple teams competing each year for the ‘ship. Some of the most dominant teams in recent memory include the 2004-2005 Illinois team, the 2010-2011 Ohio State team, the 1992-1993 Michigan Fab Five team, and the 1998-1999 Michigan State team.. However, people seem to forget that the only Big Ten team to win in the last 26 years was the 1999-2000 Michigan State team.

The 1999-2000 Michigan State was led by a young (..younger) Tom Izzo. The team’s leading scorer and Finals MVP Mateen Cleaves combined with the sharp-shooting Morris Peterson to dominate the Big Ten, winning 13 games and losing 3 over the regular season. The team went on to sweep the Big Ten Playoffs as well as the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, winning almost every single game by double digits. Although other dominant teams have sprouted up in the league since the 90’s, not one has finished the job in route to the championship.

4. Ben Wallace went Undrafted in the NBA

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Even more surprising than Tyler Johnson going undrafted in the NHL is that Ben Wallace went undrafted into the NBA Draft. Wallace went mostly unnoticed coming out of a small town in Alabama, winding up at Virginia Union University. For two seasons, he put decent numbers and showed a bit of athleticism but nothing too eye-catching. However, the Washington Bullets ended up offering him a spot on the roster after the draft and the rest was history.

Ben Wallace recently set the record for most games ever played by an undrafted player, making him perhaps one of the greatest undrafted players of all time. The Detroit Pistons 2004 team featured a steady amount of Ben Wallace’s defense down low, a key to their championship run along with Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace, Tayshaun Prince, and Rip Hamilton. Ben Wallace never let his failures in the draft, or his huge patented afro for that matter, weigh him down on his road to a nice and successful career.

Stay tuned tomorrow for Numbers 3 through 1

-KJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Sports Facts that People Often Forget: 10-7

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Sports have an extremely rich and diverse history in the United States. Throughout time, sports have had the unique ability to instill distinctive memories in people that last a lifetime. With the sports calendar as it is today, it is almost impossible to keep track of all of the various occasions and moments that happen throughout the major sports on a daily basis. Some facts and events often become lost to the mind, fading away with time or blocked by more recent eccentricities. There have been many recent and interesting sport facts that people seem to forget, which may one day prove useful in future sports trivia games or arguments over a couple of beers.

10. Stephen Curry was also born in Akron, Ohio

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Many people know of Akron, Ohio because of LeBron James and his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. What many people seem to often forget is that an additional big NBA superstar has made his claim to fame on the streets of Akron. The Golden State Warriors dynamic playmaker Stephen Curry is another player who is seeking to bring a title to his hometown.

For Steph, family and faith come before almost everything in life. The reason he was born in Cleveland was because of his mother’s request to live closer to her husband. Stephen Curry was born in a Cleveland hospital because, at the time, his father Dell Curry was playing for the Cavaliers. In sheer coincidence, Curry was in fact born in the same exact hospital and on the same exact floor as LeBron James, only 39 months apart. Time will tell who can bring a championship to Akron first. For now, I would be thinking about patrolling the floors of that Akron hospital searching for the NBA’s next top talent.

9. Tyler Johnson of the Tampa Bay Lightning went Undrafted

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You may know Tyler Johnson of the Tampa Bay Lightning as a hard-working, gritty scorer who burst onto the scene in 2014 and made his first all-star appearance a year later. Many do not know however that Tyler Johnson went completely undrafted in the NHL Draft. Going undrafted in the NHL is a lot harder than it is for top talent of the NBA, where there are only 60 players selected. The NHL doesn’t miss many all-star caliber players in their draft as players are picked before and during their playing careers oversees, professionally, or in the college game. His journey from the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL to the AHL and then finally NHL was long and winding, but it looks like Tyler is gliding to success.

Tyler Johnson may turn out to be one of the greatest undrafted players in the NHL. He amassed 50 points in his first full season with the Lightning in 2013-2014, and last year put up 72 points on the way to his first All-Star Game. This year, Tyler put up 38 points in an injury-plagued year, but make no mistake that his contribution is what helped lead his team to the playoffs. Johnson may very well have played himself into the international game as well with some key points in the 2014 IIHF World Championship, opening a chance for Tyler to lead the Team USA roster at the World Cup this September. The only groups of people who do not wish to see Tyler Johnson succeed are probably the General Managers and Coaches who passed on him in the NHL Draft.

8. Toronto Blue Jays traded Travis D’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard for R.A. Dickey in 2012

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In what may go down as one of the worst trades in Blue Jays history, the Toronto Blue Jays in December of 2012 traded Noah Syndergaard along with John Buck, Travis D’Arnaud, and Wuilmer Becerra to the New York Mets for R.A. Dickey, Mike Nickeas, and Josh Thole. At the time, Toronto thought they won the deal because it helped booster their rotation to go along with a great lineup of hitters. The only problem was the almost historic demise of R.A. Dickey along with the meteoric rise of Noah Syndergaard into a potential Cy Young Winner. Noah has pitched lights out over much of the last two seasons, bolstering a Mets starting rotation that many say is the best in the major leagues these days. Along with the fact that Travis D’Arnaud has turned into a respectable catcher behind the plate, fans of the Jays were left wondering what could have been. Many publications consistently rank the trade as one of the worst moves of Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos’ career.

7. Shaq Played for 4 Different Teams after Leaving the Lakers in 2004

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Everyone remembers the glory days of Shaquille O’Neil’s time with the Los Angeles Lakers. Shaquille and Kobe Bryant teamed up for eight tremendous years, capped off with three NBA Championships. However, turmoil between Bryant and Shaq came to a tipping point in his final 2004 season with the team. Shaquille eventually parted ways with Kobe as the two decided that separating would be easier than overcoming their differences. Most people remember Shaquille taking his talents to Miami to team up with Dwayne Wade, where Shaq showed Kobe that he could indeed win a championship without him in 2006.

However, most people forget that Shaquille O’Neil had an extended career even beyond Miami. Shaq went on to play for three more teams, the Phoenix Suns, the Cleveland Cavaliers (who had a young LeBron James at the time), and finally the Boston Celtics. He hoped to bring a ring to LeBron in Cleveland, and after significantly hurting his thumb, he shipped up to Boston to ride into the sunset. Make no mistake about it, Shaq was a relic of his former self with these teams and ended up playing limited minutes. However, for a sure fire first-ballot hall of fame player, it is interesting to note the way in which Shaq finished up his career. Who know what could have happened in Cleveland had Shaq stayed healthy and could help out LeBron down low in the paint.

Click here for numbers 6-4

-KJ

Outrageous (maybe) Take of the Weekend: Spurs v Cavs for the 2016 NBA Finals

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I’m back with a new segment for your weekends titled “Outrageous Take of the Weekend”. This segment will be where I spew hot takes that none of my friend (s?) will listen to. This week I will be tackling the  NBA and who I see coming out of the East and West. Here’s a hint, it won’t be the Golden State Warriors

The East

Lets start with the cold take of the week: The Cleveland Cavaliers will prance through the first three rounds to reach another LeBron NBA finals. Yea, I know I’m not exactly going out on a limb here. Listen, the Toronto Raptors along with the Eastern Conference as a whole are much improved over last season, but there is no chance that the Cavs do not head straight into the finals. The Cavs so far are having no difficulty with the Pistons, and should face almost no issues with the Hawks/Celtics winner. Cleveland is shooting 47% from the floor on the season, good for 5th of all playoff teams. They had the best offensive efficiency of any eastern conference team throughout the regular season at 1.076 and lead the Eastern Conference in scoring margin at +6.1 ppg over the season. The Toronto Raptors haven’t even made the conference finals in their team history.  Need we say more? DeRozan and Lowry have proven to be unclutch in the past, including their first round exit last season. If not the Raptors, the Heat could prove to be a potential upset to advance to the finals, but at the end of the day the team relies on Amare Stoudemire and Luo Deng for clutch time minutes. Whiteside has proven to be ineffective using advanced statistics, and Iso-Joe Johnson is and always will be a ball magnet. I don’t see anyone stopping LeBron streamrolling yet again to another NBA Finals.

The West

Sound the alarm!! The San Antonio Spurs will beat the Golden State Warriors in 7 games to advance to the NBA finals. You probably think I am out of my mind for picking against a team that won 73 games, but remember that one loss that really mattered? That one when the Spurs actually played their starters and tried to win the game? Yea, the Spurs can ball when they want to. I know the season series was 3-1 in favor of the Warriors, and one of those was a 30 point Warrior blowout, but Greg Popovich is a much smarter man than you or I. He understands that winning that game against the Warriors towards the end of the season gave his players confidence, and by resting his rotation they will be fresh come playoff time. The Warriors on the other hand labored out of necessity of chasing 73 wins, logging significant time on their key players. Come payoff time, this has to favor the older Spurs.

A big reason why I think the Spurs can take care of the GSW is simply because I think their team top to bottom is more talented. If we throw out each team’s top five (although this does favor the Warriors), the Spurs bench is simply better than the Warrior’s. Going through the benches, the Spurs bring out Patty Mills, Manu, David West, Kevin Martin/Kyle Anderson, and Boris Diaw. That is a legit top five and probably better than over half the league’s top five. The Warriors bring out Livingston, Barbosa, Iggy, McAdoo, and Speights/Ezeli, which is questionable at best. Livingston, Iggy, and Barbosa are legit ballers, but the rest of that bench is lacking. Spurs worked this to their advantage in their win over the Warriors during the regular season,  and I expect to see much of the same come playoff matchup time. That is if the Spurs can get past the quickness of the Thunder…

Obviously it is going to be an extremely close matchup, and obviously the Warriors may dominate on their home court, but I don’t see them winning against this improved Spurs team from a year ago. People forget that the Spurs and the Cavs played two fantastic series against this Warriors team. If Irving and Love don’t get hurt, that 2-1 Cavs series lead may have turn into 4. I think Aldridge and Kawhi play lights out, and the Spurs take care of business in 7. You heard it here first. And that is your week’s outrageous take, take that shit to Vegas ASAP.

P.S.- I know that wasn’t the hottest of takes, I’ll make sure to step up the temperature next time.

-KJ

 

Top 5 Worst CFB Beats of 2015

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Now that 2015 is complete, I thought it would be a great time to look back at the top five worst gambling beats of 2015. I know the barstool schtick is to be an absolute degenerate when betting, but I don’t consider myself down the rabbit hole as much as Bigcat and ElPres are (Let’s just say that bookies are currently lining up in the NYC streets as we speak). Nonetheless, I’ve lost quite a bit of money of some of these games, riding on a bit more stakes than Rico Bosco has (as in not betting pennies). Here’s to hoping you came out alive on the right side of some of these matchups.

P.S.- I apologize in advance for the PTSD.

#5- Week 10 Nebraska vs Michigan State (-3.5) 

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What a finish we had in this game. If you can remember, this game came at a week where we had multiple controversial calls, including the garbage Duke vs Miami lateral game where the refs missed about 10 calls in one play. To set the scene, Nebraska was down 12 points with 4:16 to play. Nebraska drove down the field and scored on a Tommy Armstrong run with about 1:45 left to play to bring the score within 5. After a quick 3 and out by Michigan State, Nebraska received the ball on its own 10 yard line. Then, this play happened:

Without question, the Nebraska wide out stepped out of bounds before the catch was made, although the refs sided with the team stating he was forced out. In the end, it was a 14 point comeback for the Cornhuskers and a huge cover.

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#4- Auburn vs Alabama (-14.5)

This was perhaps one of the most talked about beats at the time in CFB. I’m sure gamblers were having flashbacks of the Kick-6 game as this one progressed. Bama was up 9 points in the fourth quarter, pretty much dominating all aspects of the game throughout. Auburn turned the ball over to Alabama with 2:13 left in the game, with only one timeout left to stop the clock. Still, they had the cover all but locked up. Naturally, Alabama turned to Heisman Winner Derek Henry to run the clock out and finish the game. However, a delay of game penalty (how you get a delay of game penalty running out the clock I will never understand) made it 3rd and 10 for the Crimson Tide. Now having to go for the first down, Henry ran up the middle for 9 yards. On a 4th and 1, Bama hands the ball off one more time to Henry, except he breaks free for about 24 more yards for the score. I’m almost positive that Bama fans have never heard of the invention of “online gambling”, so the score most likely sent Bama fans digging through the trash for their tickets (not a foreign concept). Here’s the final drive, starting at about 3:45.

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#3- UC Davis Aggies at Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (-21.5) 

“I’m honestly not sure how the UC Davis Coach isn’t in jail”. The words of famous gambler Bigcat the day after this game aired. This one was highlighted on many forums, including SVP’s new Bad Beats of the Week segment. The game aired after midnight on the east coast, with about 70% of the money going to Hawaii. In true sports betting fashion, many gamblers probably loaded up on Hawaii to balance out the bad losses from the day. With three minutes left in the game, Hawaii was up 47-17, and many gamblers probably went to bed. What ensued can only be described as “should be illegal”. UC Davis scored to come within 23 points, and recovered the ensuing kickoff after a Hawaii fumble. UC Davis played defense well enough to create a 4th and goal at the nine yard line. Instead of going for the touchdown down 23(!), the coach brings out the kicker to kick a field goal. The score brought UC Davis within 20 to barely cover. This is the type of game to get gamblers to seek professional help. Highlights here:

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#2- Miami vs Duke (Total 51.5)

If the Nebraska vs Michigan State call got you amped, this call would send you over the top. As I’m sure many have seen, the last 10 seconds of this game were EXHILARATING. First, Duke scored a touchdown with six seconds left in the game to go up 27-24. The total is 51.5, so the over crowd still needed a half a point to cover. What ensued next can only be described as mayhem.

Miami received the kickoff and proceeded to use EIGHT laterals to get the ball to the endzone. Over bettors rejoiced, while under bettors questioned the two clear missed calls that the refs blatantly overlooked. One of Miami’s laterals was completed while a knee was down:

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and there was a clear block in the back on the return as well. Nonetheless, this was perhaps one the craziest finishes in CFB this year. What could top that?

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#1- Michigan State vs Michigan (-7)

The play of the NCAA College Football year. I was actually at the game in the end zone right where then State player returned the touchdown, and as a Michigan fan and bettor I was ready to call it quits on a career. Michigan was beating Michigan State 23-21 near the end of the game. A huge stop by Michigan over the Spartans came on a 4th and 19 giving the ball back to Michigan. All the Wolverines had to do was run out the clock to win the game. On a 4th and 10 with 10 seconds left to go, Michigan was forced to punt. The punter took the botched snap and fumbled the ball again, then tried to still punt the ball instead of laying down. And instead of laying down, I mean do anything else than what he did. This includes throwing it out of bounds, throwing it into the ground, throwing it up in the air, anything. What resulted was a kick right to the gut of a Michigan State defender, who took it back to the house and completed the upset. State had not been leading at any point in the game up until that moment. State went on to win the conference and get dominated by Alabama, but the result still stings bettors to this day.  That play will be remembered for a long time. Highlights here:

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-KJ

Surprisingly, the Barclay’s Center is a Disaster 3 Years in

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The Village Voice-Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, who already owned 80 percent of the Brooklyn Nets and 45 percent of the Barclays Center where they play, completed his full set by buying the remaining shares of those two items from developer Bruce Ratner over the holidays. Prokhorov paid $75 million in cash and $210 million in promised future payments for the purchase; that’s way less than you’d expect based on the Ratner press release’s insistence that “the transaction values the team at approximately $875 million and the arena at $825 million,” but apparently he also took on a pile of debt in the deal.

The interesting part of the transaction, though, as uncovered by indefatigable Atlantic Yards Reportblogger Norman Oder, is that the financial documents released then show that the Barclays Center is apparently continuing to lose money:

The Barclays Center had a terrible year financially in the fiscal year ending June 2015. Net revenues plummeted, to less than half the total once projected, and the arena lost some $9 million in what was (roughly) its third year in operation… The arena’s net operating income (NOI) fell well behind expectations, to $38 million, due to declines in event and related revenues, while operating expenses remained high.

Surprising to almost no one in the area, Barclay’s Center can be described so far as a train wreck in Brooklyn. Not helped by the terrible performance of the Nets and the obstructed view seats for the Islanders, the site is continuing to burn money in Prokhorov’s pockets. Anyone with a brain would realize that building a huge spaceship-looking arena in the middle of Brooklyn would cost more money that it would make in the short run, but this deal is looking to be a bust for the future as well. More hockey games in Brooklyn due to the Islanders move has caused the arena to lose out on concert sales, and if ticket sales continue to be slow the arena will lose money on its NHL product for the year.

Although I like to laugh at Prokhorov’s misfortunes, its pretty sad to see a new arena and team to go up in NYC and have it be a complete disaster. The Nets are going nowhere with their KG and Paul Pierce trade from the Celtics, and the Islanders can’t get over the postseason hump a la the New York Knicks (most likely because KFC hopped on the bandwagon). I guess that it what happens when you combine greedy sports owners with mismanaged county and city officials.

-KJ