Sunday’s NCAA Tournament matchup between the Gonzaga Bulldogs and TCU Hornfrongs produced one of the worst bad beats March Madness has ever seen.
TCU entered halftime with a 38-33 lead over Gonzaga, but the Bulldogs rallied back to take a comfortable lead in the second half. Down the stretch, Mark Few’s squad hit big shot after big shot and looked like they’d be doing bettors who picked them a favor, as they entered Sunday’s contest as -4.5 point favorites.
Gonzaga iced the game, taking an 84-78 lead with 0.7 seconds remaining. Instead of dribbling out the clock, the Horned Frogs decided to let the ball roll past half-court. That’s when Damian Baugh picked up the ball and pulled up from 30 feet, drilling a three-pointer as time expired.
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) March 20, 2023
Baugh’s shot made the final score 84-81, and many bettors were absolutely furious about his final made basket. It was already bad enough that the senior guard out of Nashville was dealing with losing what could be the final game of his collegiate career, but Baugh also faced angry bettors on social media.
He responded to those critics on Twitter, while also sending a clear, pointed message to bettors:
I Don’t Get How Y’all Mad Because I Played Until The Last Buzzer🤦🏾♂️Proud Of My Team And We Taught To Fight Until The End……Nobody Told Y’all To Bet🤷🏾♂️
— DAM10N BAUGH (@_swaggyd10_) March 20, 2023
Baugh received an outpouring of support from fans, who felt he was being wrongfully criticized.
“When a troll with three followers criticizes you, you know you did the right thing,” wrote Ron Boire. “You play ball hard; that’s your job, don’t worry about trolls. Congrats on a great season!”
When a troll with three followers criticizes you, you know you did the right thing. You play ball hard; that's your job, don't worry about trolls. Congrats on a great season!
— Ron Boire (@RonBoire) March 20, 2023
“Who cares about Covering, y’all gave it everything,” said one TCU fan. “Frog Fans are proud.”
Who cares about Covering, y’all gave it everything. Frog Fans are proud
— TCU Scholl Boys (@TCUCarterBoys) March 20, 2023
“This should probably go without saying, but stop yelling at college students or any athlete for that matter about your wagers,” said Bryan Bennett.
This should probably go without saying, but stop yelling at college students or any athlete for that matter about your wagers. https://t.co/oup1kfoXWH
— Bryan Bennett (@BetfredBryan) March 20, 2023
“He’s right,” TCU fan Matt Peterson wrote. “Give these kids a break. THEY’RE JUST KIDS. Gambling is ruining sports.”
He’s right. Give these kids a break. THEY’RE JUST KIDS.
Gambling is ruining sports. https://t.co/lclza4cS9i
— Matt Peterson (@Mattamorphosis) March 20, 2023