Live On Air

Streaming now: Prime Time Action

play Watch Live radio Listen Live

Two coaching blunders and one shining moment

By Matt Youmans  (VSiN senior editor) 

March 25, 2017 02:32 AM
Chris Chiozza's game-winning shot for Florida never should have happened.
© USA Today Sports Images

Bet on seeing several replays of the shot. Chris Chiozza jumped from behind the 3-point line and floated toward the basket as the ball hit net and beat the buzzer.

Florida stunned Wisconsin 84-83 in overtime on Friday night in New York. The Gators are going to the Elite Eight. This is what we expect from the NCAA Tournament. One shining moment wrapped in drama, elation and heartbreak.

But Chiozza’s shot only happened because of two coaching blunders.

Sure, it was an insanely entertaining game, and there were all kinds of positives. Still, this is an opportunity to be negative in a constructive way — it’s a teaching moment. The film of this game needs to be part of a coaching clinic.

Florida coach Mike White got lucky and wiggled off the hook, but he and Wisconsin coach Greg Gard should be embarrassed by their mistakes.

First of all, White nearly gave the game away by making the all-too-common error of trying to milk the clock instead of running the offense and scoring on set plays. The Gators’ 68-58 lead with 3½ minutes remaining eventually evaporated as they went conservative and the Badgers became the aggressors. How many times have we seen that scenario?

After a Florida turnover with 18 seconds to go, Wisconsin advanced the ball past half court and called a timeout with 6 seconds on the clock. When the Badgers inbounded to Zak Showalter, the TV analyst ironically noted the Gators do not foul in these situations. It was a huge blunder by White. Up 3 points and with the clock inside 5 seconds, a foul is definitely the right move.

Showalter dribbled — he was not fouled to go to the line for two free throws — and launched a running 3-pointer off one leg to tie the score at 72 with 2.1 seconds remaining. Overtime.

At that point, White set himself up to be the goat of the night.

With 4 seconds left in OT, Nigel Hayes made a spinning drive to the basket and was fouled. Hayes made the first free throw, putting Wisconsin up 82-81.

At that point, Gard should have instructed Hayes to miss the second attempt. Florida was out of timeouts. If Hayes had missed, the Gators would have rebounded with no forward momentum and the clock ticking down. A half-court heave was probably the best shot they could have hoped for in a frenzy.

Instead, Hayes made the second free throw. It was a meaningless point for the Badgers, but the clock stoppage meant everything to the Gators. Florida inbounded to Chiozza, who sprinted upcourt. No Wisconsin defender crossed his path to change his direction or slow his dribble. Chiozza was able to launch the uncontested game-winning runner.

Chiozza deserves credit for hitting a tough shot. White was fortunate to be off the hook. Gard was the goat for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Of course, there were point-spread ramifications, too. At the South Point sports book, Florida opened as a 1½-point favorite. The line went up to 2 and briefly down to pick’em before closing Gators minus-1.

No bettor should have been a loser. If you liked Florida, you bet minus-1 or pick’em. If you liked Wisconsin, you bet plus-1, 1½ or 2. But some bettors surely made a costly mistake.

It was a wild game in Madison Square Garden. It also was a teaching moment for the coaches and everyone who puts money on the line.

back to news

FREE Email Sign-Up

Get the latest sports betting news & VSiN programming updates with this free daily email from VSiN, The Sports Betting Network.


View All
  • USATSI_15426698

    2021 NFL Draft best bets - Prop bets we like

    The 2021 NFL draft will take place April 29-May 1 in Cleveland, Ohio. While it isn't the Super Bowl or NCAA tournament in terms of sports betting...
  • flatter

    Five favorites turn Derby top-heavy

    The rate of attrition from the Kentucky Derby is reaching a hard-to-imagine level. Rather than the usual springtime stories of horses coming up unfit,...
  • kuhn

    UFC 261: Best bets for Smith-Crute

    UFC 261 is slated for a rare triple-title night, and that usually offers matchups with different odds profiles. In this case, we have two established...
  • youmansdraft

    2021 NFL mock draft: Five QBs in top 10 picks

    The 2021 NFL draft is only a week away, beginning on Thursday, April 29. VSiN senior editor and host Matt Youmans gives his first version of a mock draft...
  • jvtrank

    NBA power rankings: Nets fall out of top 5

    Just a few weeks remain in the NBA regular season, but quite a few teams refuse to start buckling down. Brooklyn experienced one of the biggest drops...
  • reynolds

    PGA offers different look with team event

    Stewart Cink, 47, earned his second victory of the PGA Tour season with a four-stroke victory over Emiliano Grillo and Harold Varner III last weekend...
  • biglou

    Best bets for UFC 261 titles

    “Insight the Octagon” lost another best bet on last week’s UFC slate as Drakkar Klose was forced out of his bout with Jeremy Stephens...
  • macneil

    Handicapping marquee NHL games

    Montreal Canadiens at Calgary Flames (Friday, Saturday and Monday)   After two games in Edmonton, the Canadiens will travel a few hours south...
  • jvtclips

    Clippers sneaking into NBA elite

    Injuries have largely shaped this NBA season. A condensed 72-game schedule over five months has led to injuries to key players on multiple teams that...
  • hill

    Seeking value in NFL win totals

    Some people would say Christmas is their favorite holiday. Others prefer the candy on Halloween or the turkey on Thanksgiving. The revelation of NFL season...
  • tuley

    Tuley's Takes on baseball season

    We’ve taken the last two weeks off in the Tuley’s Takes home office as we spent spring break with the kids and, well, doing some spring cleaning....
  • makinennfl

    NFL stats foretell improvement, decline

    With the NFL draft approaching next week, bettors are ramping up their preparation to take on all the offseason futures wagering options available in...

VSiN Logo Plus

Free Trial

Make a risk-free bet on VSiN!


  • Afternoon subscriber-only email with highlights and best bets from the day's programs
  • Point Spread Weekly, VSiN's digital magazine on sports betting
  • 24-7 Live video stream of VSiN programs plus replays
  • Any special sport-specified betting guides we do
  • All exclusive subscriber-only stories and data on
Sign Up Now
Google Play
App Store