thoughts and links

Sim Bhullar and caffeine are keeping me up. Even though New Mexico State University is ostensibly a rival of UNM, I can’t bring up proper animosity for them. Maybe it’s because it is 4:30 am.

But, man, Sim Bhullar is fun to watch. That GIF is from last year, but it is still amazing to see how much Bhullar just being in the general vicinity of the ball changes the game.

Against Hawaii he’s had at least three blocks where he just looked like a bear swatting a pesky nuisance out of the air. I’m not sure why anyone would want to even go near him with a shot — he isn’t quick, but he’s so big that he doesn’t have to be.

I also took my first jolt of caffeine at 3:45. I know that it will be diminishing returns, but I think if I make it to sunrise I’ll be in the clear. 

5:00 am marks the halfway point. So close I can taste it. Or maybe that’s the reheated Mac and Cheese I had at 4:00 am

3:00 am. Yawns coming.

It’s 3:00 am, I’m still 14 hours from hitting my goal of 24 hours. I’m yawning just a little bit. Maybe it’s because of the game suddenly becoming a blowout in the second half. Akron got it to within one… but then stopped scoring and St. Mary’s turned it up.

The West Coast Conference is on its way to a 3-0 night in the tip-off marathon and are, I believe on their way to 15-0 overall.

I’ve still gone without any significant caffeine, so I have that in my back pocket. I’m usually going to sleep about this time, so I know I can wait a bit. But I’m starting to doubt I’ll make it.

It also doesn’t help that this is the dead time when no one is posting on Twitter to keep me entertained.

The next game is out in Hawaii and features New Mexico State University, so at least I have a team to cheer against in that one.

Wichita State impresses in easy win over Western Kentucky

This was touted as one of the best games of the Tip-Off Marathon, and it looked like it would live up to that reputation… until the second half started.

Wichita State went on a quick run to start the half and never let Western Kentucky back in the game. Wichita State held Western Kentucky to just 21 points in the second half, a lot of those in garbage time.

As for me, I’m still going strong. I generally stay up until 2:00 am or 3:00 am, so this is in my wheelhouse. I also broke my rule and am drinking one beer. Hey, it’s an Imperial Java Stout. That means there is some caffeine in there!

But I’ve gone without any real amount of caffeine so far and hope to continue to do so until 3:00 am or 4:00 am. 

I’m also no longer watching on my laptop, I have the TV in front of me and I’m watching St. Mary’s vs. Akron. Their little gym reminds me of a larger high school gym, especially after seeing the crowd in Wichita

Posted 11/12/13 @ 1:17 AM #

Six hours down — BYU likes to run

There’s another game down, as BYU defeated Stanford 112-103. That’s right, 112-103. When was the last time two teams scored 100 points in a college basketball game?

Only one NBA team scored more than BYU tonight (in games with 48 minutes, 24 second shot clocks and 6 fouls per person). That’s just a crazy tempo. 

Paul Westphal would be proud. 

BYU’s guard play is very good, but I think a big, physical team would give them problems down low. When Stanford was able to get the ball to their big men, they dominated BYU.

The problem was, on seemingly every miss, BYU was beating Stanford down the court and scoring an easy layup. BYU will be a fun team to watch this year, if nothing else.

Five hours down, 19 to go

I’m on the fourth game that I’ve watched at least a significant portion of and just crossed the five hour mark. I’ve been watching these games on my laptop since the TV is occupied right now by, I think, episodes of Catfish. 

Yeah.

Anyway, I’m still doing well. It’s halftime of the BYU-Stanford game, which means I can grab some food and refill my Nalgene bottle. So far, the best game is almost by default the Miami OT victory over Georgia Southern. 

The rest of the games have been blowouts… and BYU looks in danger of running away with the game at Stanford. 

This is the third game of the WCC portion of the marathon. The three best teams in the top-heavy WCC are taking part, giving a good showcase for the conference — Gonzaga steamrolled Colorado State, the aforementioned BYU team is beating Stanford and St. Mary’s takes on Akron next.

Anyway, wish me luck.

Posted 11/11/13 @ 10:05 PM #

Here’s where I hope there are no blowouts

PLEASE let there be no boring, ugly games from now on. 

Tennessee ended up winning easily against North Carolina in an impressive win on the road. Gonzaga had a dominating performance against Colorado State that didn’t tell us much about Gonzaga, but told us that CSU will struggle in the Mountain West.

Before that was a close yet boring (until overtime) game between Miami and Georgia Southern. But up until now, I could have switched over to another game if the previous one was boring. 

No such luck from now on, as there will be one game on at a time until the end of the marathon tomorrow night. In other words, I’ll be trapped, increasingly tired, watching that game. 

Oh, did I mention that I didn’t buy any energy drinks? I should have mentioned that I didn’t buy any energy drinks. I clearly did not think this through.

Anyway, here are the preperations I made: Leftover pizza in the fridge. Slept in today. Afternoon nap. That’s it. That’s my big “stay up 24 hours” preparations.

Also: No drinking beer. There is beer in the house, but I know that will just make me sleepy at some point. So staying away from that. Instead, lots and lots of water. 

Anyway, we’re into the late evening now (here in the Mountain Time Zone) and will soon be into the late night games. Wish me luck.

Posted 11/11/13 @ 9:15 PM #

Gonzaga is good

Gonzaga is a good basketball team. they’re ranked 15th in the nation and seemingly deserve every bit of that ranking. Either that or Colorado State is terrible.

Gonzaga is better at every aspect in basketball than Colorado State. Better at transition, better at defense, better big men, better perimeter players… Colorado State is in a rebuilding year, but hopefully for the Rams this represents the floor of their season.

Because there are teams that are arguably on the same level as Gonzaga — UNM and Boise State in the Mountain West. And a few teams not that far back.

Anyway, Gonzaga will likely win the West Coast Conference again, with only games against St. Mary’s being Must Watch TV (not sure how good BYU is, but they’ll be playing later in the marathon).

I’m flipping around other games on ESPN3, now on Rhode Island vs. SMU. I don’t think these teams are on the same level as even Colorado State, let alone Gonzaga.

On to Gonzaga vs Colorado State

Now I’m getting the first look at a Mountain West conference team that isn’t UNM. Colorado State looks just a bit different from last year — they’ve replaced all five starters.

They get a tough match up out of the gate, against perennially ranked Gonzaga. Gonzaga is like a hipster basketball team.

I mean that in the way that they were a really good, scrappy, underrated team for years. Every year THIS would be the year that the Zags would make a run in the tournament. Every year we’d hear all about Gonzaga’s team and every year… they wouldn’t win.

So then there was the backlash. Gonzaga is still a relatively small school and honestly has no rights being as good as they are when compared to teams like Arizona, UCLA or other teams in the region (though not conference) that have many times the student population as Gonzaga.

And yet people delight in their loss. People almost view them as Duke West. An annoying team that you know is good, but just want to lose. Not sure why. I like to see them do well. 

And Colorado State? Well, they were part of the MWC last year that had a similar backlash. People took delight in the MWC’s humiliation in the NCAA tournament. I’m doubt the Colorado State will be able to compete with the Lobos or Boise State Broncos this year, but they could have a solid showing and be a bubble team.

Posted 11/11/13 @ 7:34 PM #

Can a game that goes to overtime be a bad game?

This is a weird game. There have been just four lead changes in the game despite neither team leading by more than ten points. It is, obviously, close, but the game seemed devoid of drama. Maybe it is the absolutely empty stands. 

Miami would look unstoppable for a couple of minutes and go on a quick run, go up by 6-10 points… then all of a sudden look like they forgot how to play basketball. 

They would stop moving the ball, they would stop looking to do what got them there (dribble drive, get fouled, go to the line). And Georgia Southern really didn’t do much on offense. They just kind of… hung around. 

It seemed like Miami was playing against themselves in many ways. The tie game after two halves is more of a function of Miami being schizophrenic than Georgia Southern doing much of anything.

I know that Miami lost all of their best players and are picked to finish at the bottom of the ACC… but they have looked absolutely terrible for periods of time against a team that isn’t picked to sniff the top of the Southern Conference — a conference that I didn’t know existed until this game started.

Anyway, I look forward to not watching another Miami game the rest of this year once this game ends.