Fixed Game
Javontae Hopkins and Tarleton are looking for their first win over a Division I opponent at South Alabama on Tuesday night. Courtesy Tarleton Athletics.

Fixed Game, Stat-Keeping Error, and Busy Tuesday of WAC Hoops

Do you remember the movie Blue Chips? Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardaway were part of a big time recruiting class for head coach Pete Bell at Western University. Do you remember the part where it was pointed out to Bell that his players may have fixed games or shaved points? One of Bell’s point guards had like 25 turnovers in one game. And Western lost the game by eight points on a poor shooting night from that same guard.

The fix was on.

Well, on Monday, according to some sports bettors, the fix was on at the Jones Convocation Center. We will get to that in a minute. What makes this story even more interesting is a story I found on ESPN this morning regarding a scoring error causing problems at the Sportsbooks. This also happened at the Jones Convocation Center in Chicago. We will get to the dramatics in just a moment. I just wanted to give you a little cliff hanger.

Now, in other news, Tuesday is a busy day around the WAC as we get closer to WAC play beginning. Let’s hope no accusations of a fixed game come about from the action today.

Late-Game Fouling Has Bettors Questioning Potential Fixed Game

In an early Monday matinee between Chicago State and Northern Illinois, a fix was on according to some bettors. 70 second-half points were scored. But, the fact that Chicago State was still fouling down double-digits late is what bettors are screaming about. Just look at the comments on the post game tweet by Chicago State.

The over/under was according to Caesars Sportsbook was 125. So, naturally, bettors are accusing Chicago State head coach Gerald Gillion of fixing the game to hit the over. Or that Gillion fixed the game because he had a lot of money involved. Even one tweet says to suspend the school.

Honestly, there was no fix in my opinion. The Cougars have a different mentality than in years’ past and were just trying to give themselves a chance to win. Yes, Northern Illinois went to the free throw line 32 times. But Chicago State went to the free throw line 31 times. Both teams committed 28 fouls each. One team hit seven 3-pointers. The other hit six 3-pointers. Unless the coaches met pre-game and put out a plan to accomplish similar stats, it’s hard to see where the fix was on.

Stat-Keeping Error Creates Mild Chaos

Here is the bad news for Chicago State related to the fixed game. It doesn’t look good when you have a stat-keeping error two days prior to the fixed game allegations. In the Illinois State game on Saturday, the Cougars had a stat-keeping error that caused an issue at Caesars Sportsbook as well as many others.

“The mistake occurred late in the second half of the Illinois State-Chicago State game. A made free throw by Illinois State’s Josiah Strong with 49 seconds to play was erroneously recorded as a miss. Illinois State, a 9.5 or 10-point favorite at most sportsbooks, went on to win by nine — 80-71 — without the made free throw counting.”

Caesars Sportsbook and BetPoint were the first books to catch the error, according to the ESPN article. The article also said these two sportsbooks “were among the first sportsbooks to announce that they would pay out on any bets that would have been winners at the corrected score of 81-71, while letting the wagers that benefited from the scoring error stand.”

And to think, some sportsbooks had Chicago State as the favorite in Monday’s game. Oh, how the underdog role continues to for the Cougars.

Busy Tuesday of WAC Hoops

We are 16 days away from conference play beginning. But, there are still some big non-conference games to play. Here is your Tuesday slate of WAC Hoops.

Louisiana Monroe at Stephen F. Austin, 5:30 p.m. MT ESPN+

This may be considered a trap game for the Lumberjacks. SFA is coming off a big neutral court win against Liberty on Saturday. And this Saturday, SFA heads to Lawrence to take on No. 7 Kansas. Talk about trap game. And Louisiana Monroe has give SFA fits at times. The good news is this game is in Nacogdoches where the Lumberjacks have won the last two matchups. Bigger question is how the Roti Ware injury will impact SFA? That remains to be seen.

Fixed
Will the injury to Roti Ware hurt SFA moving forward?(Photos By: Evan Luecke/SFA Athletics)

Tarleton at South Alabama, 6 p.m. MT ESPN+

This is the first in a home-and-home series this week between these two teams. Tarleton has three wins on the season, all against non-DI opponents. Yes, the Texans have played arguably the most difficult schedule in America. But, this team is difficult to read. Expectations were once they played competition at their level, they would dominate. Problem is they lost at home to Charleston Southern who was actually lower in the KenPom rankings than Tarleton.

Sam Houston at North Texas, 6 p.m. MT ESPN+

There is still a lot to learn about the Bearkats. One win over a Division I opponent isn’t helping the cause. Savion Flagg has been consistent and will be in WAC Player of the Year discussions. It’s a matter of consistency from those around him. DeMarkus Lampley has had moments but consistency has been a struggle. North Texas is no gimme and Sam Houston can’t start slow again like it did against UTSA on Saturday.

Texas Southern at UTRGV, 6:30 p.m. MT ESPN+

Bert Ogden Arena is the place to be on Tuesday night. This game will be extremely emotional. The last time these two teams met in February, 2021, was the last time Lew Hill coached a basketball game. Hill passed away in the early morning hours following a thrilling game between the Vaqueros and the Tigers. UTRGV has lost four straight since sweeping back-to-back games in Flagstaff two weeks ago. Texas Southern is one week removed from its first win of the season at Florida. Should be an entertaining yet emotional night at Bert Ogden Arena.

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