Staying awake for 24 hours is a daunting task.
If you’ve ever attended college, then it’s likely you have at least one experience puling an all-nighter. Whether it’s memorizing all the bones that make up the human skull, a term paper on the Federalist papers, or watching Houston Baptist play Hawaii at 4:00 a.m., the human brain does not operate at normal capacity when the midnight oil is burning.
But with some trusty survival tips from our College Basketball Talk staff, this will be the year that you make it through all 24 hours of ESPN’s third annual Marathon Madness.
(NOTE: let us know what Marathon Madness survival tips you think are necessary by leaving a message in the comment section below)
Food & Beverage Tips:
– Stay away from the caffeine early. Given the fact that many of us are employed that coffee or Red Bull can look mighty seductive early. But no, leave that for the Tuesday afternoon games just before the stretch run. Go with water instead. (RJ)
– Put off the energy drinks and the coffee until the last possible minute. It’s only possible to survive on those for a certain amount of time, so waiting until the 4am Houston Baptist-Hawaii tip is your best bet. (RD)
– Snack on fresh fruits and veggies. Eating chips and pizza and what not will only tire you out. And stay away from any leftover Halloween candy. (RD)
– Light snacks. Chex Mix, or that handy 2 lb. bag of Sour Patch Kids (this is my go-to) keeps you active as opposed to that pizza you may be favoring, which can weigh you down quickly. (RJ)
– Don’t drink. That’s great for evenings when you have nothing to do, but this is basketball, it’s serious business. (EA)
– When digesting food, make sure to move around like Kobayashi. It won’t make you eat more, but it will help keep up your heart rate. (TM)
– Halftimes are key, especially early on and late in the marathon. Use these for 20-minute power naps, taking the dog outside, and showering. Using halftime effectively significantly improves your chances of staying up for the entirety of the marathon. (DM)
– Multi-platform viewing allows you to be on the go and still keep up with games. Tablet computers, laptops, and smartphones all come in handy here. (DM)
– If you must nap, pause the DVR as soon as halftime begins, and set a 30 minute alarm. You’ll miss the talking heads, and be able to skip a few commercials when you wake up. (EA)
– Mix in some non-basketball related content at halftimes. Video games and social media are a way to keep the mind from going all zombie. Watching a marathon of college basketball is all, mental, anyway. (DH)
– Watch for telling moments. It was during the marathon a couple of years ago that I saw Gene Keady reach out and hook an index finger under the back collar of Steve Lavin’s shirt during a ref-induced tirade, essentially yoking his boss. It was a fascinating look into a complex relationship, and it happened in the blink of an eye. (EA)
– Prop bets keep things interesting. If you’re watching with friends or family, place $1 bets on small, seemingly inconsequential things. Which player throws down the game’s first dunk? At what point in the game will the TV cameras show the first shot of the student section or cheerleaders? (DM)
– Slow and steady wins the race. Pace yourself. Don’t try to live-blog every minute of every game or you will be cooked well before the 4:00 a.m. Houston Baptist vs. Hawaii tip. (TM)
– Talk to yourself. Talk to the screen. I’ve found myself waving players into position, questioning a coach’s sanity and asking myself if I’d like more pretzels “yes, yes I would, thank you.” (EA)
– Music. Falling asleep at the halfway point? Plug in the headphones and blast some heavy metal (or whatever you prefer) for a bit. (RJ)
– DON’T LAY DOWN ON YOUR COUCH! Sit up. You’re already conceding defeat if you go horizontal. Naps are fine for halftimes, but there’s no way anyone can be totally “comfortable” while watching 24 hours of college basketball. Nothing that is truly a “marathon” is comfortable. Stay committed. (DH)
– Late night exercise. If you live in a big apartment building, do sprints down the corridor. Toe-touches and trunk lifts are also effective. (TM)
– Be interactive. Chat with us scribes in-game via twitter and post comment sections. A lively conversation makes it so much easier to stay awake. (EA)
– Animals make for a great late-night companion. After all, who cares if you’re talking to a cat during the Houston Baptist vs. Hawaii game. (TM)
– Head over to sporcle.com and work your way through the basketball quizzes during commercial breaks. It keeps the mind sharp. (EA)
– Appreciate the ride. Name me one other sport that does a live 24-hour marathon of games? There isn’t one. Take in the first tip-off, the student sections from the 6 and 8 a.m. games and the weird fascination with a 4 a.m. EST live game in Hawaii each year. It’s unique. And as hoopheads, it’s ours. (DH)
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) Kenny Williams III finally had the shooting flurry that third-ranked North Carolina has been waiting to see.
The sophomore had 14 of his career-high 19 points in the opening five minutes, helping the Tar Heels build a huge early lead and beat Radford 95-50 on Sunday.
Williams made his first five shots, including all four 3-point tries, during that opening flurry. Quite a change for a player who was buried on the bench for a veteran team last year, making just 1 of 13 3-pointers and seeing his confidence suffer as a result.
“I’ve been waiting a year-and-a-half for a game like that,” Williams said. “I don’t want to say I knew it was coming, but with the confidence I have right now, I kind of expected it.”
While Williams’ play stood out, the Tar Heels (8-1) got a scare when they lost point guard Joel Berry II to a sprained left ankle early in the second half. The junior, averaging 16 points, came up hobbled as he drove into the paint and fell to the floor. He got up and walked slowly to the locker room for evaluation with 17:36 left, but didn’t return to the UNC bench with the Tar Heels up big.
Coach Roy Williams said Berry would have X-rays to confirm the sprain diagnosis and he was hopeful that Berry would be able to practice before Wednesday’s game against Davidson.
“We’ll have to wait and see what they say (Monday),” Williams said, “but I’m encouraged about it right now.”
The Tar Heels (8-1) were coming off a loss at No. 13 Indiana in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. They had no trouble in this one, running out to an 18-4 lead behind Kenny Williams’ opening burst and shooting 57 percent in the first half to build a 51-27 lead by the break.
Justin Cousin scored 14 points to lead the Highlanders (3-5), who shot 31 percent.
“Tough team, man,” Radford coach Mike Jones said. “They’re so big and physical. We played some good defense inside and they made the shot over us and that’s going to happen.”
Radford: The Highlanders, picked sixth in the Big South Conference, had no way to slow the Tar Heels’ early tear. And that led to a fourth loss by double-digit margins, three coming by at least 21 points. Still, Radford isn’t likely to run up against a team such as UNC in the Big South, either.
UNC: The big shooting performance from Williams and Berry’s injury stood out here, with the Tar Heels potentially bolstering their perimeter scoring punch while seeing their floor leader go down to an injury.
The Tar Heels will slide a bit in the AP Top 25 when the new poll comes out Monday, though losing on the road to a team ranked No. 13 nationally likely won’t cause a big drop.
If Berry sits out, senior Nate Britt – who has played both guard positions in his career – would appear to be the next man up at the point. Freshman Seventh Woods also will figure into the mix; he had nine points in 22 minutes – both season highs – while getting plenty of work after Berry’s exit.
Williams, a 6-foot-4 wing from Midlothian, Virginia, made 5 of 6 3-pointers with a good-looking and confident stroke. Four of those came in the opening minutes, the last one a wide-open look from the left wing that brought Smith Center fans to a roar.
Williams said he worked in the offseason to minimize how much his guide hand pushes on the ball to affect his release.
“He’s put in a lot of time,” Roy Williams said. “I said even last year when he wasn’t putting the ball in the basket that he was going to be a good defensive player and I’m not sure he’s not our best perimeter defender right now.”
Radford: The Highlanders host Elon on Saturday.
UNC: The Tar Heels play at home against Davidson on Wednesday night.
South Carolina senior guard Sindarius Thornwell has been suspended indefinitely due to a violation of athletic department policy, the school announced on Sunday.
Thornwell is averaging 18.7 points, 6.7 boards and 4.1 assists for the Gamecocks, who are undefeated and sitting at No. 20 nationally. Thornwell is the reigning SEC Player of the Week.
South Carolina plays FIU in Columbia at 2:00 p.m. ET.
For the fourth time in the first three weeks of the college basketball season, Melo Trimble won a game for Maryland.
His two free throws in the final ten seconds gave the Terps a come-from-behind, 71-70 win over Oklahoma State in College Park, and the win not only was the sixth time this season that the Terps have won a game decided by six points or less, it improved Trimble’s record in those games to 26-5.
That’s an insane statistic, one that should allow Maryland fans to truly appreciate just how valuable their junior point guard is.
At least one Maryland fan does. Rapper Wale, who hails from Maryland, just outside DC, made sure to name-drop his favorite Terp in a verse in a song he released on Saturday night:
And you better believe that Trimble is aware of it:
Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said after his No. 14 Cardinals struggled to put away a tough Grand Canyon team on the road had some kind – and hyperbolic – words to say about the atmosphere.
“This, in college basketball in my 40 plus year, was the toughest crowd I’ve ever faced,” he said.
Umm, but Rick, you’ve coached in the Big East and the ACC! This was tougher than any of those crowds?
“Whether we go to Duke, Kentucky, nothing was as tough as that crowd tonight,” he said.
That seems like a bit much, but to be fair, the atmosphere there was, shall we say, lit:
This is what you don’t try to take charges.