Caffeine's the only thing keeping this tourney moving right now besides youth and the manic desire to crown a champion before the deadline of five o'clock tomorrow.
I'm at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, and happily the roof looks both solid and leak-free. The scene: the SEC tournament reimagined as an Alaskan high school tournament.
A few notes:
One: Logistics R Us here in Atlanta. Despite the controversial decision to only let family and friends here, this thing is rolling along 15 hours after a tornado hit the scene. Raycom's crew got 45 minutes of sleep last night in between breaking down their whole operation, cutting it from 11 cameras to 7, and setting up a functioning television production in a new venue.
Alexander Memorial sprinted to readiness, too: not only is the roof fine, but they even had concessions up (hot dog for breakfast: grade, passable) and ample yellow jacketed staff up to keep the very unhappy fans at bay outside. Kudos and hat tips all around.
Two: they didn't let Elvis in.
There's not exactly a mob scene going on: just a few disgruntled fans and a few hoping they can just luck into entry, including a bunch of college guys from Knoxville in orange who told me, "Hey, man. We're Vols. We're diehard. Evidently so: their plan for the day was to wait out the security people and hope.
Three: I have a screenplay to sell you. OMG This is just like some Disney movie! Kentucky, a bunch of plucky coal kids, don't gel with their new coach. They struggle early. Then, once they finally get going, they get to the tournament only to be told they have to play not one, but TWO games in a single day. Line: "We were born ready, coach!" It all ends with a dramatic three-pointer and uplifting strings.
The mad rush, confirmed. According to the tv guys, they must crown a champion by 5 tomorrow to get Selection Sunday rolling properly. After three games today, they'll wait as long as they can to start the game--3:00 p.m.--to give the teams maximum rest before tipoff. â†µ
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.