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In brief

Duke shot puts Vegas in a tizzy

By wire services
Published April 5, 2004

It was a shot that meant nothing to some and everything to others.

When Duke guard Chris Duhon sank a 38-foot 3-pointer off one leg as time expired in Saturday's NCAA Tournament semifinal against Connecticut, the Blue Devils still lost. But to those who wagered on the basketball game, the bank shot that made the final 79-78 meant the underdogs covered the spread, which was between two and three points.

Those who bet on the Huskies, who took the lead after 12-point run, to cover suddenly had lost their bet. Those who bet on Duke collected.

With approximately $100-million being bet on March Madness each year in Las Vegas and about $2.5-billion wagered online, according to the FBI, the Duhon shot transferred anywhere from $30-million to $100-million from those who bet on UConn to those who bet on Duke, as estimated by those in the sports gambling business.

"If you are a Duke or Connecticut fan who wasn't betting, the shot didn't mean much," said John Avello, director of the race and sports book at Bally's and Paris in Las Vegas. "But if you were a Duke or Connecticut fan with money on the game, it was a big deal."

Last-second plays that do nothing to the outcome but affect the money being wagered often occur. But it is not often a shot like Duhon's involves so much. Avello said he believes the amount transferred on the shot was among the top 50 he had seen in his 16-year gaming career in terms of total dollars shifted.

"There was more money riding on this game than the average NFL game, and this one shot represented a monumental swing," said Jeff Sherman, race and sports supervisor for the Palms, a Las Vegas-based hotel owned by Sacramento Kings owners Gavin and Joe Maloof.

SOCCER: Millwall, Man U in final

Millwall beat Sunderland 1-0, the first team outside England's top division since 1992 to reach the FA Cup final. Millwall plays 10-time winner Manchester United. Australian forward Tim Cahill pounced on a defensive mixup to score in the 26th minute, giving Millwall player-manager Dennis Wise a chance to win the cup with three different teams.

HORSES: Locals rule at Downs

Locals won four of the six stakes races during Florida Cup Day at Tampa Bay Downs. Tampa-based trainers who won: Kirk Ziadie with Keystone Point; Marshall Novak with Chenia; Kenneth Decker with Scrubs; and Thomas Proctor with Restage. Officials said $3,832,790 was wagered on the day's card, with purses totaling $504,900.

LAFAYETTE STAKES: Bwana Charlie beat Quick Action by 31/4 lengths in the $109,500 race for 3-year-olds at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky. It was the horse's third straight victory.

ET CETERA

SWIMMING: World-record holder Michael Phelps shrugged off a suspected case of food poisoning and put on a show at the Counsilman Classic in Indianapolis. Phelps, who some expect to challenge Mark Spitz's record of seven gold medals in one Olympics, swam three times - winning the 200-meter backstroke and 100 freestyle and adding a time trial in the 200 freestyle - in 37 minutes.

HOCKEY: Canada rebounded from its first loss in women's world championships history to advance to the title game, beating Sweden 7-1 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Canada faces either the United States or Sweden in the title game Tuesday.

KAYAKING: Scott Parsons secured a spot on the U.S. Olympic team, winning the men's event for the second straight day in South Bend, Ind. On the women's side, Rebecca Giddens won for the third straight day to clinch her spot on the team, where she was joined by Sarah Leith and Hannah Larsen.

TABLE TENNIS: Whitney Ping, 17, and Jasna Reed, 33, earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic team by winning the North American doubles trials in Atlanta.

[Last modified April 5, 2004, 01:20:27]


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