Live Blogging ESPN’s 24 Hours of College Basketball: Evening

We’re in the homestretch now. This is Part IV of IV in our epic live blog of ESPN’s Season Tip Off Marathon. We’ve been covering it since 2 AM. You can check out the Overnight here, the Morning here, and the Afternoon here. For the Evening, both John S and Tim will cover Duke vs. Charlotte, then Tim will bring you his thoughts on Gonzaga at Michigan State and Memphis at Kansas.

12:20: Well, roughly 22 1/2 hours after we’ve started, it’s time to wrap up our live blog of the college basketball marathon. Can’t complain about those last two games: The No. 1 and No. 2 teams were taken to the wire. We discussed rust, the career of Timmy Chang, Jerry Glanville, what constitutes an X-factor, and if Temple and Georgetown played the worst half in the history of sports.

From the recliner in my parents’ basement, good night, and good luck.

12:18: After the pick with Coleman, Williams had a look from the right wing that looked pretty good–just a tad long. Can’t kill him for going for the win as the underdog.

I must admit, there was a small part of me that wanted Collins to hit both, Memphis to push the ball, and Williams to hit a game-tying three at the buzzer to send it to OT.

12:17: Tired legs: Sherron Collins comes up short on his first free throw. Memphis is out of timeouts, so you have to expect Elliot Williams and Coleman to run a pick-and-roll down the other end here. Kemp and Mack for kickouts.

12:13: Okay, Elliot. Don’t show off too much to your new friends. KU’s lead is one.

By the way, even though it didn’t work, I love how Pastner threw a zone at the Jayhawks last time down. And I love that Collins knew exactly what to do when he saw it.

12:10: Well, well, well…looks like things have gotten interesting in St. Louis. Donnell Mack hits a three to cut the KU lead down to two. One stop, and Memphis will have a chance to tie. Jayhawks have to go to Aldrich here.

12:04: Memphis misses some key free throws but gets away with offensive goaltending on a putback dunk and a nicely-drawn travel on KU’s subsequent position. Tigers are down five with 2:13 to play. Can they get it down to one possession?

11:57: Roburt Sallie is lucky I still remember Ed Waite’s four-points-on-20-shots performance from this morning for Monmouth, because otherwise, I could say without qualification that Roburt Sallie is having the worst game of the day.

11:53: That was a fabulous use of the body by Williams on his last drive–totally took Aldrich out of the play. And that came on the heels of a stepback trifecta to pull the Tigers within four.

Maybe, just like that other game these two schools played two years ago, will be sloppy and poorly played for awhile, and then get really good at the end.

11:50: Oh, right, there’s a game going on. KU by five, six to go. It’s basically been between five and 10 the whole second half. Memphis can’t cut it to a possession, and the Jayhawks can’t put it away. Even the crowd is bored by this game, and they’re THERE.

11:48: Anyone else suspicious that Dick Jauron was fired the same day Jerry Glanville became available? Hmm…

11:39: And the most important thing we learned: College basketball may have fixed its charge/block problem. I don’t want to jump the gun, but I’m REALLY excited about this.

11:37: Let’s take this little downtime in the second half to go over things we learned today:

  • A lot of teams started “rusty.”
  • Only Duke and Clemson looked sharp from the opening tip, but both were playing pretty inferior teams. And I’m gonna throw Tennessee in the mix because, even though it wasn’t a part of the ESPN marathon, it won by 75.
  • Liked what I saw from both Michigan State and Gonzaga. I’m still gonna pick against the Spartans in March, but I like what I saw from them.
  • Seventy-five!
  • Someone really needs to break this “The MAAC is pretty good” story.
  • Georgetown is not an NCAA team. Neither is UCLA.
  • I don’t know if Dave Calloway is gonna survive to see next year at Monmouth.
  • Nolan Smith might be better than I thought, but his status as an X-factor is debatable at best.

11:32: Memphis got two big hoops and is back within seven, and now Sherron Collins is injured on the sideline. I don’t know if it’s just having watched too much basketball today or the game itself, but I can’t discern much Kansas from this game. Collins, Henry, and Aldrich all look good independently, so why aren’t they cruising against a team that can’t make a jump shot?

11:26: KU has stretched the lead just a little to 10, and this could be the danger zone for Memphis. Pastner calls a timeout, knowing he can’t let this lead balloon much more, especially given the way the Tigers are shooting. I didn’t think their offense would be this bad.

11:22: Correction: The Nets are 0-11. My bad.

11:19:Not too much has changed early in the second half, with Kansas maintaining its six-point edge. An alley-oop to Aldrich was particularly impressive.

The big story, for me, is that I’ve decided that I’m a Josh Pastner fan, which really challenges my whole anti-Memphis stance from the last several years.  Throw in Elliot Williams, and I might find myself even rooting for the Tigers. Weird. I HATED this team the last few years. (If you think John hates Calipari, well, John never rooted for the Nets.)(Speaking of, 0-12!)

11:07: There’s some serious inside joking going on in the ESPN studio after Digger referred to a trip he made to Memphis “for personal reasons.” Let your imagination run wild.

10:55: Sherron Collins gets an open layup at the buzzer after a steal for a 26-20 lead at the break. Tough to get a read on this game, if only because I missed the first eight minutes watching MSU-Gonzaga. The Tigers’ defense is impressive, but they don’t really know what they’re doing offensively. I suspect the Jayhawks will make a run early in the second half to seize control of this one.

10:48: “Willie Kemp has struggled shooting the ball the last couple of years.”

At what point does it stop being a struggle and start being just a lack of talent? I mean, I’ve struggled finishing in traffic the last decade–or when I started playing teams that regularly used help defense. Should I still hold out hope?

10:41: Shulman’s taking some shots: at the Clippers and at Joey Dorsey’s offensive game. In the actual action, Aldrich is dominating on the block, but KU is only up 20-17. Memphis doesn’t look like it has a rhythm or an identity on offense, but the Tigers are still athletic and they get out and guard. Forget what John said about Tulsa: This is the team to beat in C-USA.

10:33: “When we come back, how old is old enough?”

Oh, Dan Shulman, I don’t think you’re gonna answer the question most think you’re posing.

10:30: I don’t know how I feel about watching Cole Aldrich this season. Not much in terms of aesthetics to his game. I suppose he has a good dropstep, but that dip at the foul line? Am I gonna have to deal with that all season?

10:28: What’s the deal with this court right now? Do we need this much orange? And ads for Reese’s AND Bud Light?

10:23: We’re jumping right into Memphis and Kansas, which is at the under-12 timeout with the Jayhawks up, 8-7. Seems like a slow start. ESPN’s No. 1 crew of Dan Shulman and Dick Vitale on the mikes. Shulman is great; Vitale is okay at this point in the season before we’re all tired of him.

10:21: Fitting that Summers knocks down a pair of freebies to ice it for State, 75-71. Excellent basketball game.

10:18: Green misses both, and Goodson on the other end hits one of two. Spartans called a timeout on the inbounds; Izzo will draw up something good to get the ball to his best FT shooter, Kalin Lucas, right?

10:15: Steven Gray gets two decent looks from beyond the arc to tie the game, but both rattle out. Draymond Green going to the line with a chance to seal it (more or less) for the Spartans with 13 seconds left. Easily the best game of the day, which I feel I can say even though I didn’t watch CSF-UCLA.

10:13: Brilliant drive and finish by Lucas. I’ve been waiting for him all night so I could make a case he’s even better than Sherron Collins at Kansas. Even if he has a tendency to disappear, Lucas has shown the ability to come up big in spots just like that.

10:12: I don’t know about you guys, but I’m gettin’ mighty sick of that MSU fight song.

10:09: Morgan fouls out after Harris gets away with three straight carries. I’m with Izzo; you can’t let a guy dribble like that in the post. It wasn’t much of a foul either. Harris can tie it at the line with two.

10:06: Kind of like I thought, State has gotten a lift from grabbing the lead. Summers’ three put Sparty up one, they stopped Gonzaga, added a free throw, and a Raymar Morgan reverse layup for a 71-67 advantage with just over 120 seconds to go. I think Mark Few might want to reinsert Robert Sacre.

10:04: Summers hits a three to give State the lead. He’s turning into Brandon Jennings.

Ridiculous time to ask this but I will anyway b/c I forgot to earlier: How much of Gonzaga’s rise to prominence do we attribute to Mark Few, and how much to Dan Monson? It was Monson who got the Zags to the Elite Eight in 1999, and it was Monson’s players who took them to the Sweet 16 in 2000 and 2001. But, Few has taken them to that next level as an in-season power. So what’s the percentage? 90/10 for Few? 70/30?

10:02: Out of the timeout, State ran a nice backscreen for a Summers layup (dish from Lucas). Gonzaga doesn’t have Sacre on the floor, but Gray gets to the line and sinks two to regain its customary two-point lead. Tom Izzo calling another timeout.

Everyone knows how much I love John Beilein; it’s not far-fetched, though, to say Izzo is the second-best coach in America. I do think with more certainty that he’s as good as there is in the NCAA Tournament. His teams tend to underwhelm a little during the season and surprise in March.

9:59: At the under-4 timeout, Zags lead by a deuce, 65-63. Gonzaga keeps running its offense through Sacre in the post, and it’s been working more times than not. Michigan State is getting penetration from the perimeter of Summers, Lucas, and Morgan and either hitting a jumper or getting to the line.

You have to watch the foul trouble, especially with Sacre’s fourth. Delvon Roe and Kelly Olynyk have fouled out, which I suppose is kind of like offsetting penalties.

9:55: Durrell Summers has come to life with a pair of difficult midrange jumpers, and MSU is within a bucket again at 63-61. If the Spartans ever actually get the lead, that might be a big mental boost for them.

Mental boost? I sound like Jimmy Dykes.

9:53: What makes Gonzaga tougher this year? Steven Gray has ditched the clean-cut look and blown his hair out and stopped shaving. You don’t want to mess with 2009-2010 Steven Gray.

9:51: This one’s gonna continue to go back-and-forth. Spartans keep cutting it to a possession, Gonzaga keeps pushing it back to two, etc. This one could go extra time like their last meeting.

9:41: Huge call goes Spartans’ way, as Summers gets a three-point play on a drive while picking up Sacre’s fourth. Last year, that’s probably called a charge; I think they made the right call on a block there. My opinion on charges/blocks is: When in doubt, it’s a block.

9:39: Four-point play alert! Matt Bouldin, who was barely catching rim in the first half, knocks down a big three while drawing a foul to push the Zags’ lead to five. Bouldin has always done the little things right; he’s doing some big ones well tonight.

9:36: Quick note: Louisville ran away from Arkansas, winning by 30. Don’t know how that happened. I was also surprised that the handshake between Rick Pitino and his former player, John Pelphrey, was very quick. Any bad blood there?

9:34: Michigan State ties it on two jumpers from Lucas: the first with a toe on the line AGAIN, and the second from behind the line…finally. The Spartans go ahead on a putback, but Gonzaga ties it on a nice dive to the hoop from Sacre, who has an free throw coming out of the break.

MSU has turned up the defensive intensity, and Bouldin and Goodson are the only Bulldogs who seem capable of handling that pressure. Lucas is finally making himself known on offense for Sparty, and the Zags are finding themselves in a little foul trouble.

9:26: Spartans on a 6-0 run and now back within three. By the way, can you believe I’ve gotten this far without talking about Dave O’Brien and Steve Lavin calling the game? They’ve been adequate, although I adamantly disagree with Lavin’s assessment that Gonzaga is clearly not as finesse a team this year. If anything, their big guys are even more finesse; it’s just they don’t have Austin Daye and Micah Downs on the perimeter.

9:23: Gonzaga has pushed its lead back out to nine, and it doesn’t look like the Bulldogs are going to go away. Harris has five points this half, coming on a nice back-to-the-basket spin move and an open three. That’s some versatility. The State offense has stagnated again aside from those two long twos.

9:21: Michigan State has hit two shots this half–both with toes on the three-point line. I’ve seen a lot of that today. Chalk it up to rust? (John isn’t here anymore.)

9:10: UConn closed out Hofstra, and Louisville has re-established its 17-point advantage over the Razorbacks. Looks like I’ll stick with Gonzaga-Michigan State.

9:03: Thoughts on Gonzaga-Michigan State first half:

  • Gonzaga’s big men–notably Sacre and Harris–have been very impressive. They’re more LaMarcus Aldridge finesse types than physical guys on the block, but they each have nice touch around the rim.
  • If those guys can be serviceable for Gonzaga, there’s no reason they can’t be a Sweet 16 team again this year. They’ll cruise through the WCC–even though Saint Mary’s looked good in the overnight and Portland should be good–but the Zags probably don’t earn a protected seed this year.
  • Kalin Lucas is the best player on the floor, and you wouldn’t know that from watching this game. He has to assert himself.
  • The issue with State is they have a lot of athletic wings that are good, physical defenders, decent slashers, and okay shooters. They don’t have a marksman on the perimeter that can kill you for collapsing in the paint. They don’t have a guy on the high post like Goran Suton who can break down a defense with his passing. They’ll be right with Purdue in the Big Ten, though, fighting for a No. 1 seed, and I expect them to come back to win this game.

8:59: It’s 35-30 Bulldogs at the half, Louisville 50-45 over Arkansas with 14 and change in the second half, and 67-64 UConn over Hofstra with 90 ticks to go. I’m looking for that one on ESPN360.com.

8:53: Over on ESPN2, Arkansas has scored the first 14 points of the second half against Louisville to close it to a three-point game, with an and-one FT to come. Rotnei Clarke is following up his 51-point night with 13 on 5-of-7 shooting thus far, FYI.

8:51: Morgan is back in, which makes me feel good I deleted my “and I doubt he’ll return tonight” clause. Zags are up a trey with two to go in the half.

8:42: The Spartan offense has come alive, as has the Breslin Center. MSU has thinned the deficit to 27-21. Unfortunately, Raymar Morgan just aggravated his ankle injury, writhing on the floor Mateen Cleaves-style. Has there ever been an ankle injury that doesn’t make you flinch when you watch it? They always look excruciatingly painful.

On a lighter note, Michigan State has some watermark action on the back of their jerseys as well, which I don’t like as much as Duke’s basically because I just really like the Duke Chapel. The bigger issue with State’s jerseys is the location of the stripe, closer to the back than the side. This is the problem with most of Nike’s System of Dress unis.

8:33: It’s getting a little hostile at the Breslin Center, with the Spartan faithful far from happy with the officiating. The home team has more giveaways (11) than points right now, trailing 23-10.

Truth be told, with the way Michigan State is playing offensively, Gonzaga should be up even more. The Bulldogs have shown an odd predilection for off-balance running floaters the last few times down, and they salvaged a terribly spaced three-on-one break when Elias Harris had a nice follow dunk. And while Matt Bouldin has delivered a few nice passes (four assists already), he hasn’t been particularly close on any of his five shot attempts.

8:23: The Bulldogs look a lot more like the No. 2 team than Michigan State right now with a 15-6 lead. The Spartans have no flow offensively right now; it’s about time for Kalin Lucas to start getting involved. Also, this is probably when I should mention that Raymar Morgan is limited by an ankle injury and didn’t start for State.

The Zags are upset about a bad call on a ball that went out-of-bounds. Upon review, it was definitely off the Spartans; the NCAA should institute instant replay.

8:12: A couple of things are clear early: First, Gonzaga is even more of a finesse team than it was last year. Jeremy Pargo and Josh Heytvelt were pretty much their only physical players, and those guys are gone.

Second, Michigan State is still going to struggle at times to score, as they are so far in this game. The Spartans remain a Big Ten team at heart that won’t often break 80.

P.S. It’s 9-3 ‘Zags at the first TV timeout, withcenter Robert Sacre leading the Bulldogs with six points.

8:02: Well, I thought John was gonna be all over the Illinois-Northern Illinois game on ESPN360.com, but I guess he can take a break after covering 12 of the last 18 hours of college basketball. As he gets some sleep, you get four more hours of Tim. The last two games feature the top two teams in the country (allegedly), starting with Gonzaga and Michigan State, who, according to my memory, have never played a game in November that didn’t go to triple overtime.

I’m intrigued by these teams. I don’t think the Spartans are that good, but I didn’t think they were that good last year, and they went to the title game. I also don’t know a lot about this Gonzaga team yet. Matt Bouldin has always portended to be a good player, but I’ve never seen him live up to that consistently. It’s his team now.

8:00, JOHN S: Well, it’s been fun. It was nice to see Duke annihilate an opponent and give me hope for the season. Hope that it will inevitably undermine by skidding through ACC play. But that comes later. Anyway, enjoy the rest of the Marathon. I’m out.

7:54, TIM: I suppose you’ve got a point. If Smith plays the way he did tonight, Duke might have a chance to stick with UNC in the ACC.

7:52, JOHN S: Well, I’ll slightly disagree with you there. Scheyer and Singler have been starters or huge parts of the offense since they came to Duke. Smith has been erratic. He’s great in some games and he disappears in others. And Duke has never really counted on him to be a primary guy. You don’t really know what you’re going to get from him. Hence, he’s an X-Factor.

7:44, TIM: Yeah, if I made a list of the 25 most annoying things members of the sports media do, misusing the term “X factor” would be considered for that list. An “X factor” is a player that isn’t that good, but could be good. Nolan Smith is pretty good. Possible Duke X-factors basically include everyone EXCEPT Smith, Scheyer, and Singler.

7:42, JOHN S: Btw, how many times are Dykes and Nessler going to call Nolan Smith an X Factor? Should he just make that his legal name?

7:40, TIM: Which number do you think will be higher at the end of the season: Duke’s ACC wins or minutes in Duke’s ACC games that Jon Scheyer does not play in? Or better yet, that both Scheyer and Singler are NOT on the floor?

7:39, JOHN S: Yeah, Singler was never an interior player, but he was one of the biggest regulars on the team during his freshman year. He’s definitely a lot leaner now than he was then, so he’s not playing out of position when he plays away from the basket. It’s not a huge change in the way he plays, but it could  a big change in how he affects the team if he’s at the 3 instead of the 4.

7:33, TIM: Well, you can shoot in the same way you can hit in the off-season. It’s not against live defense, and that changes things.

On another topic, I know Singler’s playing the three more than the four this year, but was he ever an interior player? Was he ever a back-to-the-basket guy? The next dropstep Kyle Singler lays down on the block will be his first.

7:32, JOHN S: Czyz made a 3? And I missed it? Man, those things are like Halley’s Comet. You can’t miss it when it comes.

And why can’t you shoot in the off-season?

7:31, TIM: Have you ever shot a basketball? When you don’t shoot consistently, you lose your touch.

7:30, JOHN S: I mean, a hitter can’t really hit off live pitching in the off-season. At least, not everyday. There’s really no way to replicate the physical intensity of a football game in a nonfootball setting. Basketball doesn’t seem to require skills that would go dormant during the off-season.

7:27, TIM: Did Olek Czyz just make a three?

7:25, TIM: Are there sports that are more or less conducive to rest? Do pitchers get rusty? I mean, they can throw all winter.

I think it comes down to actual competition. It’s always a step up when you’re in a game and going all-out for a full 40 minutes, not to mention that a lot of teams we’ve seen today have the added anxiety of being on national television.

7:25, JOHN S: This is a recurring theme of the day that I don’t really understand: Is there really “rust” in basketball? It doesn’t seem like a sport conducive to rust. And it’s not like you can’t play basketball during the summer. Why is everyone so rusty?

7:24, TIM: Man, since Smith played high school ball with Brandon Jennings and Ty Lawson, you can make the case that Jon Scheyer is the worst point guard he’s ever played with.

7:22, JOHN S: No, the most impressive thing about this game is still Brian Zoubek’s new beard. You can tell his going to make the leap this year.

7:19, TIM: Yeah, this was a disappointing search result on Google.

Would you say the most impressive thing Duke has done in this half is survive despite the absence of Lance Thomas?

7:18, JOHN S: As soon as I saw that thing I knew we had lost you. You know there’s still a game going on?

7:15, TIM: WHERE CAN I GET THAT DRY ERASE BOARD???

7:14, TIM: Yeah, we don’t want him getting dizzy from this.

7:13, JOHN S: Man, that pass would have been cool. But maybe Smith needs to slow down, not let this go to his head too quickly.

7:13, TIM: That was some nice hustle by Charlotte to get back on that three-on-one. Scheyer had time to track the ball down, stop, pass it to Singler, who awkwardly controlled it to pass it to Smith, while NO 49ers crossed halfcourt. For some reason, Jimmy Dykes is not outraged by the lack of effort.

7:11, JOHN S: And it’s definitely Speed.

7:10, JOHN S: First of all, I think Ochocinco is just one word at this point. Secondly, I don’t think Spears is that much worse than Booker. The Blue Devils will have trouble with him, but they’ve had trouble with him throughout his four years at Clemson. You just hope to contain him. Lastly, why do you have to assume that eventually we won’t make our shots? You’re such a killjoy.

7:06, TIM: Wow, this promo for The Blind Side says it’s Sandra Bullock’s greatest performance to date, which leads to the question: What is Sandra Bullock’s greatest performance to date? Speed? Miss Congeniality? Crash? Or is it All About Steve?

6:58, TIM: My halftime thoughts:

  • That Nolan Smith guy is pretty good. This is the greatest justification of a text since…well, I’m not sure when, but I imagine Chad Ocho Cinco was involved.
  • Duke looks really good offensively, largely because it’s hitting its outside shots. Duke pretty much always looks really good when it’s making its outside shots. How will this team be when it’s not knocking those down?
  • One thing to watch defensively. Shamari Spears is what I’d consider an impoverished man’s version of Clemson’s Trevor Booker. And Spears, for what it’s worth, is having a pretty good game for the 49ers. If the Blue Devils have trouble with Spears, they’ll have a lot more with Booker and his ilk in the ACC.

6:57, JOHN S:You’ve got to be happy about how Duke played. After a brief moment where it looked like Charlotte might get back into it, the Blue Devils just tore it up. It’s particularly exciting to see Nolan Smith’s performance. I was dubious about him this season. But if he can become a reliable scorer, it might soften the blow of losing Gerald Henderson. Relying on Scheyer and Singler too much is going to burn those guys out, so guys like Smith, the Plumlees, Ryan Kelly and Andre Dawkins need to step up.

6:52, JOHN S: Yeah, that thing had been sitting in Dykes’ collected papers for years before now. It’s a pretty outdated encyclopedia.

6:50, TIM: And the Encyclopedia is his Red Book?

6:49, JOHN S: He’s like ESPN’s Carl Jung.

6:48, TIM: I’d say that Jimmy Dykes is the analyst who spends the most time on a team’s collective psychology during a game.

6:46, JOHN S: Charlotte’s not doing so well, yes. But they’ve already outscored both Temple and Georgetown’s first half.

6:43, JOHN S: Using Calipari as a standard of “authority” or following/enforcing rules is like using Temple as a standard for field goal shooting.

6:40, TIM: Yeah, John, he got THROWN OFF THE TEAM! You telling me Calipari would do that?

6:37, JOHN S: “Authoritarian”? Al Skinner? Didn’t Sean Williams have to, like, smoke pot during a timeout to get thrown off the team? That’s a pretty lenient form of authoritarianism. Or, at least, one with a pretty low standard.

6:35, TIM: I do like how Duke isn’t going with MA. PLUMLEE and MI. PLUMLEE on the back. (I mean, if and when Marshall comes–and it’s when–you’d need MAR., MAS., and MI. PLUMLEE jerseys.) Instead, they’re just winging it with PLUMLEE on the back for each

Shamari Spears is the second BC transfer I’ve seen in action today, along with the center from Drexel (who clearly made an impact in that game, being that I can’t remember his name. Ryan Neisler?). Along with the chronic underreporting of the quality of the MAAC, how come no one talks about the authoritarian regime of Al Skinner?

6:34, JOHN S: You and your concern for uniform aesthetics. It was awfully short-sighted of their parents to give both of them (and their younger brother Marshall) names that start with M. What kind of parents are they?

6:32, TIM: I, for one, am kind of glad Mason Plumlee got hurt. That’d be too confusing otherwise. He should redshirt the next three seasons to make things simpler.

6:30, JOHN S: Jimmy Dykes just called the first ten minutes of the game the best ten minutes he’s seen from Miles Plumlee all season. It’s the third game. And Plumlee’s always been an impressive dunker. It’ll be interesting to see if he can be a legitimate post guy this year. It’s too bad we won’t get to see his brother Mason tonight.

6:26, JOHN S: I mean, I think it’s a natural letdown game, Tim. We just beat our biggest in-state rivals last night. How do you expect the fans to rebound from a win against COASTAL CAROLINA?

Meanwhile, Charlotte has played even since their turnover-laden first five minutes. I really don’t want to see Duke limp to another win against an inferior opponent. Can we please win big tonight?

6:22, TIM: Wow, that student section at Cameron is PACKED! And by packed, I mean empty. It’s Duke and UNC…C, people! Don’t discriminate because of that extra C.

6:20, JOHN S: We did? This is the first I’m hearing of that, but this is excellent news. I haven’t been this happy about a wardrobe development since Sarah Palin’s choice of shorts for the Newsweek cover.

6:18, TIM: I’ve got one word for Charlotte’s equipment manager: Trim.

Speaking of unis, how excited are you that we went with the cool-design-on-the-back jerseys full-time?

6:17, JOHN S: Tim, your pro-Beilein, anti-Lutz agenda has been clear for quite some time now.

6:16, TIM: DYKES: “It’s hard to find a coach on the college level who doesn’t like Bobby Lutz.”

Yeah, because he’s not very good. Charlotte used to be pretty good–and a perennial at-large contender at the least–but they’ve been down the last few years (at least since joining the A-10), and Lutz should be on the hot seat.

6:14, JOHN S: Singler drains a three. If Billy Packer were doing this game, he’d call it for Duke right about now.

6:09, TIM: Yeah, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned during the Nolan Smith Era, it’s that he always follows through on his texts. And he gets concussed.

6:08, JOHN S: It’s a huge slap in the face. So do you anticipate a coming-out party for Nolan Smith? It’s what he texted.

6:08, TIM: Can you believe we didn’t get Patrick and Elmore for this game? I feel jilted.

6:06, JOHN S: Two duos at work for this game. First, of course, there’s the Kyle Singler/Jon Scheyer tandem that’s going to account for most of Duke’s offense this year. Second, there’s Tim and John S, doing a tandem live blog. It’s going to be epic. It’s 2-2, now. We already have more offensive firepower than Georgetown and Temple had in their first half.

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One response to this post.

  1. […] remember that last year NPI brought you live-blog coverage of 22 of the 24-hour ESPN Season Tip-Off Marathon. So why aren’t we being as extensive this year? Chill out, we have things to do! And Tim […]

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