8:04 -Valpo is the preseason favorite in the Butler-less Horizon League, while the Huskies lost leading scorer Tim Toler from a team that won just five games in 2011-12.
I thought Hawaii/Houston Baptsit was going to be the biggest hurdle, but this is going to be a pretty extreme struggle in its own right. My eyes are not feeling light at the moment.
We're into hour nine, and that means it's coffee time.
Prediction: Valpo by 24
8:14 - The Bryce Drew shot is still my all-time personal favorite March Madness moment. I'll love Mrs. Klausing forever for wheeling that TV out at just the right time.
8:17 - It'd be nice if someone would make a shot here. We've played six minutes and it's stil 2-2.
8:22 - Valpo's Ryan Broekhoff has seven points and five boards. All the other players on the two teams combined have seven points and 12 boards. The Crusaders lead it, 10-4.
8:35 - Broekhoff now has 13. Only one other player in the game has more than three. It's Valpo up 18-10 with 5:45 left in the first half. Not the most fun I've ever had, but not the least.
8:39 - And now Broekhoff has half of the total points scored in the game with 16. 21-11 Crusaders with just 3:30 to go in the half.
8:43 - Love Broekhoff's offense, but could go without his constant flailing. Australia's not even that good at soccer, so he doesn't have a legitimate excuse.
8:47 - Credit NIU for hanging around here. The lead is only 21-15, but it feels like it should be more. Valpo playing like it's 8 a.m. and hasn't scored in over six minutes.
8:56 - ESPN showing the same taped halftime show three times in a row now feels like it goes against the general principle of this event. Weak sauce.
9:12 - Valpo comes out of the locker room hot from behind the three-point line. The lead is 14, but it feels like it's about 80...which also feels like the number of hours I have left until I get to go to sleep.
9:20 - Guy in the Valpo student section just pulled the laziest pom-pom waving I've ever seen. Hoping for video. His team is winning 42-22, by the way.
9:28 - Lazy Valpo Pom-Pom Waver is slowly taking this day over.
9:34 - Yep.
That one guy in the valpo stands just twirling his pom pom thing #boss— Chris Labattaglia (@CLabattaglia) November 13, 2012
Crusaders up 51-35 at the under eight timeout.
9:39 - Laphonso Ellis currently talking about "Marcus" Kidd-Gilchrist. I think we all need a nap. It's Valpo in complete control, 60-35 at the six minute mark.
9:56 - This one finally comes to an end as Valpo prevails, 69-46, missing by prediction by a single point. Broekhoff led all scorers with 20 points.
A Valpo fan slowly twirls his pom-pom in uncontrollable celebration.