A pair of NCAA Tournament teams from last season take us into the belly of the tip-off marathon beast. This is where the eyes start getting a little heavy, where it's impossible to ignore that all normal people are asleep. Let's dig in.
3:11 - I'm always a little bit disappointed by the Saint Mary's home crowd when they get these games, because they're so impressive in ordinary situations. You'd think they'd embrace the event, if for no other reason than to upstage their arch-rivals from Gonzaga.
3:13 - By the way the Gaels lead, 10-9.
3:18 - If you're nickname begins with a Z, you embrace it.
3:20 - It's almost bizarre watching Saint Mary's without Matthew Dellavedova. Like watching the Lakers without Kobe, or 2gether without Mickey Parke.
3:29 - Not exactly a stimulating opening 10 minutes from McKeon, but at least it's competitive. Saint Mary's is on top, 18-15.
3:32 - It's snowing here. I no longer feel that bad about the likelihood of not going outside until Wednesday morning.
3:37 - No new comments, no new tweets, no new website posts...
3:42 - Tree Treadwell is going to be too much for most MAC teams to handle in the post, but I'm not sure this Akron team can get to the level they were pre-Alex Abreu suspension last season. As far as Saint Mary's is concerned, it's definitely not a "rebuilding" season, but there will definitely be some growing pains early on as the team tries to find its identity in a post-Delly world.
Neither squad looks particularly sharp right now, but of course this isn't exactly an ideal playing situation. Gaels still lead it at the under four, 27-22.
3:46 - The Internet moves quickly.
3:52 - Akron chips away to gain a 1-point lead and Saint Mary's promptly responds with a 9-0 run. They lead 36-28 with less than a minute to go in the opening half.
3:55 - An exciting final flurry includes a deep Akron three and Brad Waldow buzzer-beating lay-up on the other end. Gaels up 38-31 as both teams head to the locker room.
I guess it'd be weird if only one of them did.
4:10 - What do you think it would take to get, like, Indiana at Duke in this time slot next year? An Ian Ziering autograph? I mean I'm not saying I can make that happen, I'm just saying I could try. That's more than you're doing.
Saint Mary's up 39-33 two minutes into the second half.
4:16 - Bob Valvano just said a Saint Mary's player looked at the ref like, "he just jerked all over me." I don't think that's the message the young man was hoping his body language would convey.
4:29 - The Zips are going to work inside and the lead is down to 47-44. Although this game has the slowest pace of any so far, I think it's moving the fastest in terms of real time. I don't know, I'm not entirely sure what real time is at the moment.
4:34 - What do you guys think Matt Damon's character from Rounders is up to now? I'm going with either dead or in jail. No way things end well for that guy. Like he puts his life on the line out of greed against John Malkovich, and just because he wins we're supposed to believe things are going to end up great for him? There's a disturbing behavioral pattern there. He's dead or he's in jail.
4:39 - Every time Akron gets close, Saint Mary's turns it on. This time it's an 11-0 run to push the lead to 58-44. Announcers now discussing SMU's sanctions and the games Randy Bennett will miss.
4:44 - Stephen Holt with 10 points but no made field goals tonight. He's still pretty proud of himself.
4:49 - We're just about done here. Saint Mary's up by 17. Dellavedova highlight reel rolling.
4:53 - I need to eat something.
4:55 - Saint Mary's up 70-51 and looking like they're going to win by 20 plus. I'm ready for this to be over, but I'm not ready to be shipped out to Hawaii, at least figuratively.
5:07 - Pretty sure I've seen the same Champions Classic promo 700 times already. Gaels with an alley-oop to get the remaining fans back on their feat. They lead 78-61 with 2:29 left.
5:13 - The Gaels notch their second impressive win in as many games and the West Coast Conference is off to a perfect 15-0 start. Here's a fact for you stats nerd: it's actually impossible for all of those teams to go the entire season without losing a game. Do some simplifying and dividing, and you'll come to a similar conclusion.
Here's your final box score for game three:
|Quincy Diggs, F||1-7||0-3||5-5||1||3||4||3||4||0||2||4||7|
|Nick Harney, F||1-5||0-1||1-2||1||2||3||1||0||0||2||1||3|
|Demetrius Treadwell, F||6-13||0-0||5-10||6||6||12||2||0||0||2||2||17|
|Pat Forsythe, C||3-4||0-0||0-0||3||3||6||0||0||0||4||5||6|
|Carmelo Betancourt, G||0-1||0-0||2-2||0||0||0||0||2||0||3||2||2|
|Kwan Cheatham, F||1-3||1-3||0-0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||3|
|Jake Kretzer, F||1-4||0-3||0-2||0||2||2||0||1||0||2||3||2|
|Reggie McAdams, F||1-4||1-3||1-2||0||1||1||0||1||0||1||2||4|
|Isaiah Johnson, C||6-11||0-0||1-1||5||1||6||1||0||0||1||2||13|
|Deji Ibitayo, G||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Nyles Evans, G||1-5||0-2||4-5||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||2||6|
|Saint Mary's Gaels|
|Beau Levesque, F||2-4||1-2||4-4||1||1||2||0||0||0||3||3||9|
|Brad Waldow, F||6-13||0-1||4-5||1||1||2||1||0||2||0||3||16|
|James Walker III, G||4-6||2-2||5-6||1||2||3||1||4||0||2||2||15|
|Stephen Holt, G||1-7||0-2||12-12||0||3||3||7||0||0||0||3||14|
|Jordan Giusti, G||3-5||1-3||5-7||0||3||3||4||6||1||2||2||12|
|Garrett Jackson, F||4-8||0-1||0-0||2||2||4||0||0||2||0||3||8|
|Dane Pineau, F||1-1||1-1||0-0||0||2||2||0||0||0||0||1||3|
|Matt Hodgson, C||3-3||0-0||0-0||1||3||4||0||0||1||1||4||6|
|Treaven Duffy, G||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|Kerry Carter, G||0-0||0-0||2-2||0||2||2||2||0||0||2||3||2|