In Celebration of Bad Basketball
Mars' Hill documents the dead hours of the 24 hour tip-off marathon.
Every year, to celebrate the return of college basketball, ESPN puts on a 24 hour marathon of live hoops to be consumed by idiots and losers. I happen to be young, single, dumb, and in love with sports, so of course I fall into the target demographic of this telecast. I have attempted to watch all 24 hours of the marathon every year since the tradition started in 2008, but have never been able to do better than 21 hours in 2010. From Monday, November 12 through Tuesday, November 13, I decided to make another attempt at all 24 hours, but kept a running diary of the events. The following is what happened from Monday night through to Tuesday afternoon; the part of the marathon where I was the only one awake on campus, watching bad basketball and writing about it so the rest of the Trinity Western University campus didn’t have to.
Monday: West Virginia at Gonzaga The marathon got off to a roaring start (at least for one team) with this matchup. Let’s just say Gonzaga blew the doors off WVU and won 84-50 (and it really wasn’t even that close). Gonzaga has its best team since Adam Morrison graduated and will be a threat, come March Madness.
Monday: Davidson at New Mexico New Mexico erased a 14 point halftime deficit to win 86-81 in front of a packed house that showed up for a midnight local start time, ending at 2:21am. The thought of any TWU fans showing up under these circumstances makes me giggle.
Tuesday: Houston Baptist at Hawai’i Hawai’i basketball games are fun because every man who shows up, from broadcasters to coaches to fans, wears cheesy Aloha shirts. Basically, everyone who goes to a Hawai’i basketball game becomes your dad. My favourite detail about this game was that Hawai’i’s best player is named Vander Joakim, who sounds like a stereotypical French villain in a bad action movie. Joakim lead the Rainbow Warriors (that’s their actual team name) to a 73-60 victory.
Tuesday: Stony Brook at Rider This is always the best game of the marathon (strictly for comedic purposes). The game is at 6:00 am local time, which means both teams are hopelessly tired and lethargic. Also both teams are terrible, which leads to this fun equation: bad teams + lethargy = hilariously awful offense. Stony Brook had more turnovers (20) than made shots (16), but still won because Rider shot a blistering, Spartan-esque 30.8% from the field (okay I’m sorry, that was a cheap joke. The Spartans have actually been fine on offense, they’ve been losing because they can’t get any stops).
Tuesday: Northern Illinois at Valparaiso Only 12 people are watching at this point, so ESPN sells advertising for one commercial every break. The big spender this year was Super Beta Prostate (last year was the Ab Roller), something that is easy for me to joke about now, but I will probably have a very different opinion on it when I’m waking up to take a leak six times a night 30 years from now. Valparaiso, which is not a ritzy lakeside resort but actually a small university in Indiana, won this game 69-46.
Tuesday: Temple at Kent State Nothing really notable about this game other than the fact that Temple has a player named Scootie Randall who is actually really good. Ol’ Scootie scored 31 points to lead the Owls
Tuesday: Temple at Kent State Nothing really notable about this game other than the fact that Temple has a player named Scootie Randall who is actually really good. Ol’ Scootie scored 31 points to lead the Owls to an 80-66 victory over the Golden Flashes.
Tuesday: Detroit at St. John’s No jokes or smarminess here; it was great to see St. John’s coach Steve Lavin back on the sideline after missing most of last season fighting prostate cancer. On a lighter note, St. John’s overcame a 10-point deficit and got the lead for good on a basket by All-Name Team candidate Sir’Dominic Pointer. I am now positive I will put ‘Sir’ in front of my child’s name someday. The marathon concluded with a horrendous Butler vs. Xavier game (Butler is evidently very far removed from the teams that made two straight national finals), followed by main event matchups between Michigan State and Kansas, and Duke and Kentucky. I made it all the way through to the end and was rewarded by being forced to watch Duke fans be happy, which is about as much fun as a root canal.