Well, here we are. The moment we all knew was coming but were too afraid to acknowledge until it arrived.
Gonna need some energy and some entertainment, Kanoa Leahy & Bob Valvano.
Prediction: Hawaii by 16
4:12 - IT'S GO TIME.
Crowd has responded well to the "blackout" theme. About 2K in house.— Brian McInnis (@Brian_McInnis) November 13, 2012
4:26 - I'd forgotten that Kanoa Leahy is one of those Hawaiian people who pronounces "Hawaii" in that weird, correct way. Say it how I'm used to hearing it or don't say it at all, bro. If they weren't calling them the "Rainbow Warriors" anymore I'd be turning this game off. HAWAII (said the way we all like) leads 24-12.
4:30 - Do you think ESPN has separate cutaway shots/music for Maui Invitational games and Hawaii home games? In my dreams they do, and some producer gets f---ing furious when someone mixes up the two. It's still 24-12.
4:34 - Hawaii has eight newcomers, but they're playing with a lot more effort and cohesiveness than they did in this game a year ago. They won't be a pushover in the Big West.
4:37 - Baptist doesn't have any answer for Hawaii forward Vander Joaquim, who has 11 points and six boards. It's the 'Bows, 29-14. It's fun for me to say 'Bows, so I'm going to do it since I'm the only one in the Western Hemisphere who's awake and attempting to be productive.
4:38 - Drop 'Bows on 'em.
4:43 - Am I supposed to be putting an apostrophe in Hawaii? 'Cuz I'm not gonna. 'Bows up, 33-16.
4:46 - Vander Joaquim appears to be a hair under 9'8 against Houston Baptist. He's got 16 and Hawaii (without an apostrophe) leads 38-23 at the break. I'm the only person in the world on the Internet.
4:54 - Can we put a moratorium on the "has (player) been at (school) for (number larger than four) years" jokes? The answer is no, he has not. What happened is he played a fairly prominent role or had some memorable moments during his freshman season, he was a solid contributor as a sophomore and junior but not solid enough to go pro, and now he's back for his senior season. That is the situation with the player you are referencing.
It's 4:54 in the morning and I feel very strongly about this.
5:08 - This is Houston Baptist's first appearance on ESPN. I know because I've been told seven times. It's not going well, they're losing 42-25.
5:13 - I can understand why Hawaii sports fans aren't the most passionate. Say you're a diehard Hawaii fan and the Rainbow Warriors lose a game. You get really sad for like two minutes and until you walk past any place in your house with a window. I don't know, maybe I'm cutting them too much slack. I'm a giver. Especially after 5 a.m.
5:18 - Hawaii leads 53-35. Currently buying birthday presents.
5:22 - Have now seen the BMW "this holiday season, make a resolution to get out more...much, much more" commercial at least five times. Am starting to believe it's directed at me.
5:24 - This is the current star of the tipoff marathon:
5:29 - HBU has drawn back-to-back charges and finally hit a couple of threes to cut the Rainbow Warrior lead to 12. It's an 8-0 run and America has Husky fever.
5:40 - Giving Michael Harper the MVP award for the "Welcome to Hawaii" video. 'Bows are still in control, 63-45 with seven minutes to play.
5:51 - Joaquim now with a double-double at 20 points and 10 rebounds. Hawaii up 20.
6:18 - It's a final. Hawaii is your Rainbow Classic MVP after a 73-60 victory. I'm not thinking actual thoughts at this moment.