4:00 – All right, this is the one I think most people have been fearing.
This was originally supposed to be a Rainbow Classic game between Hawaii and South Alabama, but the tournament was canceled because of lack of participants. Northridge, which is ineligible for the postseason due to Academic Progress Rate penalties, jumped at the opportunity to play on national television, and here we are.
It's the season-opener for Hawaii, while the Matadors are 0-1 with a narrow (66-59) loss to USC.
Give me Zane Johnson and the Warriors by 13.
4:07 - I'll never forgive Hawaii for limiting my ability to say "drop 'bows on 'em" during games now.
4:08 - Solid home crowd here for the 'Bows (I'M DOING IT). Lots of physical play early on with not a lot of corresponding whistles.
4:13 - Mark Adams informs us that the new rule forces defenders to be "physically outside of the circle" when attempting to draw a charge. Thank God they removed the part about the mental limitations. Hawaii droppin' 'Bows and up 5-2 early on.
4:22 - Both teams have a lot of athletes and a lot of guys playing very hard right now. This is about as entertaining as I imagine 4:30 a.m. basketball can be. We're knotted up at 13.
4:29 - Bonus feature has now been explained, by my count, five times in two and-a-half games now. I heard you lose a nipple if you work at ESPN and don't do what the brass tells you. I never really believed it, but it makes sense. Northridge up 20-17.
4:31 - Mark Adams has seen Lilo & Stitch.
4:39 - Zane Johnson has hit 3-of-5 from three and has 15 points for Hawaii, which leads 28-23 with five minutes to go in the half. Also, when a player is down with an obviously painful injury, it's probably best to keep the camera (or at least any speakers) a safe distance away. We just had our first S and F bombs of the marathon.
4:43 - A 15-0 'Bow run (I don't even care anymore) and it's 32-23 with a little under four to go in the half. Hawaii is shooting 52%.
4:51 - You guys heard about this new bonus graphic ESPN's got this season? It sounds cool, but I really need someone to explain to me how it works. Rainbow Warriors (happy, Hawaii?) up 34-28 nearing halftime.
4:54 - Mark Adams has said "rise up" no less than four times in one half of basketball. Can't rise down, my man.
4:55 - Fourth bonus feature explanation of the half. This is going to be hard to top.
4:56 - Northridge responds well to the big Hawaii run and the lead is just 37-34 at the break. Johnson leads all scorers with 15. A very entertaining half of basketball.
5:28 - Hawaii dominates the first six minutes if the second half and leads 61-45. Zohnson still the high scorer with 20, but Northridge's Stephan Hicks now has 18.
5:41 - Johnson buries his fifth trey of the game and we officially have our second blowout of the marathon. And the first half was so promising, too. Rainbow Warriors lead it, 70-45 with eight to play.
6:01 - We've hit hour seven, and I can't even lie: hurtin' a little bit. Eighteen hours feels like a long time, but it would seem a lot shorter if this game would ever end. Hawaii, 73-58 at the under four.
6:09 - Mark Adams was hilarious two hours ago. Now I hate him more than the 1800 Tequila guy. It might be time for coffee. It's definitely time for this game to end. 78-63, 'Bows with 2:47 left.
6:13 - Mercifully, the final horn sounds and Hawaii walks away with an 86-67 victory. The Rainbow Warriors are young, but I believe the folks who say they're already capable of competing in the WAC. I don't believe anyone who thinks Northridge is heading anywhere; 1) because they're not very good and 2) because they're still saddled with a postseason ban.
Game Rating: 3
A surprisingly watchable first half can only carry you so far.
Prediction Result: 3-0
I dare someone to stand near the tracks with this train coming through.
Consumption: 2 cough drops
They're disgusting, too. Wanted to hold out on breakfast until 8, but not sure I'm going to make it.