[Source] - In a tape-recorded talk four days before the game, Bifalco told his childhood friend, Colombo mob family associate Joseph Amato Jr., that he had been dreaming about fixing a basketball game since freshman year. He also told Amato that he’d already paid $7,500 to three Seahawks starters he’d known since they were freshmen and that he was going to bet $50,000 on the game.
“No,” Bifalco stated seven times. “They’re my f–king boys since f–king freshman year and we’ve always talked it,” he said, explaining that in their early years at the small Staten Island liberal arts college, the team was so bad, “there was never an opportunity because Wagner never had a spread [betting line]” on its games.
“Let me explain the scenario,” Bifalco continued. “Wagner is 4 and 4; that’s their record. They’re playing St. John’s. St. John’s is 9 and 0. I said, ‘If you guys lose by one point or you guys lose by 100, it don’t make a f–king difference. You’re gonna lose to St. John’s.’ They’re f–king unbelievable this year, and they might even make the NCAA tournament.”
Bifalco wasn’t able to pay off any of the Wagner Seahawks and didn’t wager any money on the game, either.
That was perhaps the luckiest thing about his harebrained scheme. That’s because St. John’s, after leading by only a single point at halftime, went on to win easily, 73-58, but not by enough to cover the 17-point spread. He did have the right idea about betting the under, though.
Also lucky was that Amato didn’t trust Bifalco to fix the game and, therefore, never bet any money — meaning Bifalco wasn’t sideways with the Colombo family.
So this story has been out there for a little bit now and I've blogged it before, but we now have details. Let me tell you, this is one of the funniest goddamn attempts at fixing a game you'll ever hear. First, you have him explaining that St. John's is fucking unbelievable. Little hint: St. John's is not fucking unbelievable. They finished that year 21-13 and lost to Arizona State in the play-in game in the NCAA Tournament. Not exactly 'unbelievable.'
The fact this is happening in 2018 isn't surprising at all. College kids are looking to make money - not exactly a huge surprise here. Fixing games in college hoops has been going on all the way back to the 40s and probably even earlier. You just watch college hoops and you watch dumb mistakes and chalk it up to being college kids being dumb. But now every single thing will be questioning if it's being fixed - even if the player and team didn't take the money! Hell, the play didn't even hit! Well 1/2 of the play, I guess he did give out the under.
Imagine being the guy trying to fix a game with the Colombo mob family only to not pay off the players AND not wager any money. There's no one in the world that sucks more than the dude giving gambling tips and yelling about it to you while they don't wager a penny. I don't even care if you're a high stakes, low stakes, whatever you bet. You better fucking bet if you're out here giving tips left and right and trying to scheme something up.
All this does is remind me of the crazy story with Boston College - mostly because I can't believe Bruce Pearl was there for it. I love listening to him talk about it:
Imagine if that plan actually went through though and you convince the Colombo mob family to throw money on the game. The moment that's a 1-point game at halftime you gotta just start pleading for forgiveness. There's nothing you can do besides pray at that time. Gotta be a top-1 worst feeling in the world. I say this as someone who had to give Dave Portnoy a pick on radio and sweat it out until about 30 seconds to go or so. Multiply that by oh, I don't know, your entire life and that's what you'd be dealing with here.
Also just never trust someone who says St. John's is fucking amazing unless Mark Jackson and Chris Mullin are actually playing for them. That's step number 1 on who to trust when fixing a college hoops game.