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March 16, 1998|LARRY STEWART

What: HBO's "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel"

When: Tonight at 10

Nothing like a jolt of reality right in the middle of the NCAA tournament. The main story in this edition of HBO's award-winning sports investigative show focuses on the 1994 Arizona State point-shaving scandal.

It's a reminder that of all the corruption in college athletics, nothing is quite as bad as a point-shaving scandal.

Reporter Armen Keteyian looks at what happened when two players, Stevin Smith and Isaac Burton Jr., got involved with bookies and conspired to shave points in four games during the 1994 season. Those in on the crime, according to the government, made $133,000, $230,000 and $280,000 on the first three games before--right in the middle of the fourth game--everything fell apart.

In that game, against last-place Washington, it is believed word got to the two players at halftime that the game was being investigated. After an incredibly sloppy first half in which the Sun Devils, an 11-point favorite, led by only two, they turned it on in the second half and covered the spread.

"The Arizona State point-shaving case is the most significant in the history of college athletics because of the money involved," NCAA investigator Bill Saum says.

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