10:00 – All right, now things get a little interesting.
The Mountaineers have won 36 consecutive non-conference home games and opened their season with a 78-71 win over a good Oral Roberts team last Friday. Kent State will be opening its season this morning, The Golden Flashes return the nucleus of a squad that won the MAC regular season title and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NIT.
Kent State appears to be the trendy pick here, but I’m going ’Eers by five in a great game.
10:03 - McDonough and Raftery. Morning glory.
10:08 - Somehow, Deniz Kilicli looking even more Turkish this season.
WVU has the early 4-2 lead.
10:15 - Hearing Raftery and McDonough call a West Virginia game at the WVU Coliseum has officially provided me with my first "the Big East breaking up really, really sucks" thought of the year.
10:19 - Aaron Brown with seven points off the bench and it's 14-8, WVU. Kent State really should have brought uniforms sporting a color definitively separate from the Mountaineers' home whites.
10:23 - Cars.com commercials and whatever ad is using "Good Life" are to this marathon as the Dr. Pepper "Let's Have a Real Good Time" commercial has been to the entire 2011 college football season. Is that a complaint? With the exception of the "Party Like a Rockstar" cars ad, yes.
10:31 - WVU up 16-15 at the under eight. Deniz Kilicli and his uncanny resemblance to the Mountaineer mascot have officially taken over any talk concerning this game. I don't blame you, America. You either, Turkey. Suck it, Finland.
10:39 - West Virginia is 83-12 under Bob Huggins when they outrebound their opponents. Mountaineers are dominating the glass right now 18-8 and own a 22-19 lead with four minutes left in the half. Kilicli has eight rebounds all by himself.
10:42 - Seriously, they're playing three commercials.
10:46 - The beard has ruined Deniz's free-throw stroke. Worth it. 26-21, 'Eers.
10:49 - Talented WVU freshman PG Jabarie Hinds playing very well against a team with some really good guards. Still looks a little lost on defense, but name me a freshman who doesn't right now. If he can be this good for them consistently then Mountaineers could finish better in the Big East than their predicted preseason spot of seventh.
10:53 - I keep hoping that this is the season where teams going 2-for-1 at the end of the first half becomes the norm. I saw it multiple times over the first weekend, but West Virginia just had a chance and didn't do it. I've just never understood why that trend hasn't gravitated to the college game. It just makes too much sense.
10:57 - Kilicli and Kevin Jones combine for 19 first half rebounds as West Virginia takes a 33-28 lead into the locker room. Reigning MAC Player of the Year Justin Greene scored just six points, but shifty point guard Carlton Guyton has 11 for the Flashes.
11:14 - Truck Bryant changed out of his bright yellow shoes at halftime. That's like Kilicili shaving his beard in the locker room. Maybe he should change back because Kent State has the lead down to one at 37-36.
11:18 - Kent State's Randal Holt buries a three to tie the game at 41 and Rafter gives the first "Dagger!" call of the year. Probably just a tad premature, but whatever, everyone's excited.
11:20 - McDonough questions why Bryant changed his shoes. I swear we could be best friends. We should be best friends.
Kent State on an 8-0 run and takes the lead for the second time this morning (Jesus, is it still morning?). 43-41, Flashes.
11:25 - Jabarie Hinds is as interested in playing defense as I am in Jack and Jill.
Kent State converts a spectacular alley-oop to take a 47-41 lead. All the momentum withe the visitors right now.
11:32 - Kent State head coach Rob Senderoff's inspirational halftime speech centered around the lines: "I need you to be a man. You've got to physically get into 'em." Apparently that works for them.
11:37 - Randal Holt bangs another three from the corner and the lead is ten for Kent State. More importantly, the perfect day is in extreme jeopardy.
11:42 - The Turkish sensation with a monster dunk to cut the lead back to six. West Virginia has switched to a 1-3-1 defense that has confused Kent State.
11:47 - Kent State cannot miss. The Flashes are being outrebounded by 13 and they still lead by 11. Classic sign of a team that starts four seniors and a junior. West Virginia's 36-game non-conference home winning streak is in extreme danger.
11:59 - Via Ballin is a Habit, here's Chris Evans throwing down:
12:06 - We have our first upset and my first loss. Kent State goes into Morgantown and knocks off West Virginia, 70-60. It's a bigger win for the Golden Flashes than it is a loss for the Mountaineers.
Game Rating: 7
Two solid teams going back-and-forth for about 33 minutes. Only disappointment was West Virginia not rising to the occasion when Kent State knocked them on their back for the first time.
Prediction Result: 5-1
Michael Jordan got cut from his high school team.
Consumption: 1 cup coffee
And it's wearing off. When I coffee crash, you'll know it. Things will get weird.