Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

March Madness: How Did Las Vegas Fare?

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Villanova players celebrate after the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against North Carolina, Monday, April 4, 2016, in Houston. Villanova won 77-74.

One of the biggest betting events for Las Vegas ended Monday night.

The NCAA men's basketball tournament – March Madness – wrapped up in Houston, with Villanova beating North Carolina 77-74. 

And it was a great game with a spectacular end that will go down in NCAA history because of a buzzer-beating 3 from Villanova's Kris Jenkins.

It will also go down in Las Vegas sports book history, according to Station Casinos vice president of sportsbook operations Art Manteris.

“It went from Villanova covering, winning and under the total, to a tie game, to North Carolina winning -- and over the total," he explained. "All of those changes occurred in the last five seconds of the game.”

Manteris said the tournament overall was a good one for the books, but many of the decisions didn't go the way the casino operators would have preferred.

“It was great again," he said. "Our industry continues to see growth and the tournament was no exception.”

Adam Hill is a sports reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was in Houston for part of the tournament.

He said it was a great Final Four with a lot of energy and excitement. But, he is not happy that the championship game was once again held in a football stadium, which is said is a bad "shooting place" for players.

“You are used to playing in a certain environment and now you’re changing everything about it,” Hill said. “When you’re deciding your championship, to change the environment is not fair to the kids, but it is a business."

Hill did see and speak with UNLV's new head coach Chris Beard. Unfortunately because the deal with the school and the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents is not finalized, Beard couldn't answer any of his questions. 

Hill does think, though, that Rebels fans and the city will like him. 

"I love him," he said. "I think the town is going to love him but he's got to get to the point that he is actually the head coach. Hopefully that happens on Friday."

Art Manteris, vice president of sportsbook operations, Station Casinos;  Adam Hill, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Stay Connected
Casey Morell is the coordinating producer of Nevada Public Radio's flagship broadcast State of Nevada and one of the station's midday newscast announcers. (He's also been interviewed by Jimmy Fallon, whatever that's worth.)