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Last week was one of the most disappointing weeks in my 25 years in the Sports Information Industry. Not only did many of my games not go my way, not much in life went my way either so I thought I'd take this opportunity to share. It's Monday and Martin Luther King Day. Great! That means a huge NBA card, half of it played in afternoon matinees. I start the day with the red-hot (8-1 ATS L9) Utah Jazz getting three at the Clippers. The Jazz are never in the game through three quarters but a big fourth quarter actually has Utah up six with 1:03 to play. A Cutino Mobley layup, Sam Cassell jumper, and two foul shots by Elton Brand and we're tied with 19 seconds left. A Kirilenko brick from six feet at the buzzer sends it to OT where the Jazz take nine shots ( eight from 20 feet or further) in what turns out to be a nine point loss. Oh well, bounce back big tonight. Big Monday college action starts with Kansas at Missouri. I (we) have the Jayhawks on the road minus two. Kansas has a seven point lead with 30 seconds left. Missouri some how manages to tie things but sends Christian Moody to the line with 0.4 seconds less. Loss or push. Moody misses both and we have life. Errrrr at least until bowing by three in overtime - Loser. I (we) also have Southern Illinois who's on an 11 game winning streak getting 5 1/2 from Northern Iowa. Tied at 48 in regulation we head to OT. The Salukis take six point lead at the 2:54 mark and I'm feeling pretty good. The Panthers bury a three with four seconds left and go on to win by six as we get hooked in the second overtime. Day One Recap: 0-3 in games where we had teams getting points going into the final minute with a lead and then losing ATS in overtime. I split my time time between Costa Rica and Las Vegas and Tuesday I'm off to Sin City. The trip is uneventful but twelve hours later I get to the gated entrance of my condo and the key to gate has become demagnetized and doesn't work. I can either walk in a quarter of a mile with my luggage or wait for the next car and follow them in. I wait 30 minutes and the driver I follow in gives me a stare that would freeze lake water 10 feet. Fast forward to Thursday. My extra-board game of the year is Montana plus one at Northern Arizona. The Grizzlies are on a 10 game winning streak and lead 45-32 at the half extending to 58-39 early in the second half. Yup, the Lumberjacks go 10-13 from 3-point land and shoot 64% from the field for the game to

come back and win 83-80. No biggie, I still have Xavier over Cincinnati and I'll be sitting at Hank's in Green Valley Ranch having an amazing meal. The Musketeers are down after ten seconds and never lead until there's five minutes left. We're giving four and a half. Xavier leads by five a couple of times and has five point lead with 30 seconds left. Bearcats have the ball and clank two threes, getting the offensive board each time. A Jihad Mohammed off balance three finds the mark and Xavier is up two with 12 seconds left. Dead unless there's overtime. I GET IT! Xavier leads by five with 15 secs left. A worthless three makes it 73-71 and that's the way it ends. Did I mention that Xavier was 1-18 from beyond the arc ? Pass the Percicets and Drano please. The next day I fly back to Costa Rica. I get to McCarron Airport three hours early to return the renta-car and check in. To enter Costa Rica, you must have a guaranteed ticket assuring that you will leave. This has never been an issue in my 20 other previous trips but today I get an American Airlines employee looking for Employee of the Month. A $688 one-way ticket to Miami in April finally gets me on my way. There's a three hour layover in Dallas so I relax and read USA Today. After boarding the plane, the crew decides that it will not fly as only two of the four lavatories are functional. After two hours, the bathrooms are serviced and all that remains is for the FAA to inspect for "leakage". This doesn't really bother me too much as I ponder whether the "leakage" would freeze in its fall from 34,000 feet and kill someone or whether it would just burn up in its re-entry into the atmosphere. After 16 hours I'm back in my condo in San Jose with a night of writeups to look forward to. I split out on Saturday and actually get the jump on Sunday winning with Rutgers early in college hoops and then cashing Pittsburg in the AFC Championship game. I need Carolina and the under to have a pretty good day. Painfully apparent after just two series that Carolina has no shot, I can only hope for the under. At 27-7 with five minutes left I know I'm done. Alexander punches it in from the one, 34-7. You just absolutely know that Delhomme is gonna complete his first pass of more than 10 yards on this possession and he does, 47 yards to paydirt and the over. Oh well, sh*t happens. I still have my NBA Play of the Day with Toronto plus seven over the Lakers. Toronto is 13-2 ATS in it's L15 overall, 15-5 ATS on the road, while the Lakers are just 711 ATS at the Staples Center. Toronto leads 71-53 in the third so in essence I have a 25 point lead with eighteen minutes left to play. The rest is history. The Lakers outscore the Raptors 69-33 the rest of the way as Kobe goes off for 81 points, 55 in second half, 28 in the final quarter. Now I know not many of you will shed a tear for a guy who reads, writes, and bets sports for a living while spending half his time between Las Vegas and Costa Rica but for just one week Welcome to my World !!!

Dennis Macklin is a documented member of the Professional Handicappers League. Read all of his articles at []

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