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Your 2014 ESPN Tip-Off Marathon Open Thread And Live-Ish Blog

I tried and failed at the full marathon a year ago. I will not make that mistake again this year.

ESPN put John Brown, High Point's NBA prospect, in the 4am game. I see you, ESPN.
ESPN put John Brown, High Point's NBA prospect, in the 4am game. I see you, ESPN.
Rich Barnes/Getty Images

We're four days into the college basketball season, but we've reached the first day with major contests as ESPN broadcasts their Tip-Off Marathon.  All told, there are 19 games over the last few bits of Monday and all day Tuesday, including Marquette tangling with #20 Ohio State tomorrow night.

Last year, I attempted to pull off the entire marathon.  I got to 2:27am Central time before the game I was watching being terrible and attempting to take a nap.  That nap turned into about five hours of sleep instead, and so I missed about a game and a half.  I make no promises about even attempting the marathon this time around, but I do plan on watching as much as possible, so we'll call this a live blog.

Free advice: With the UConn women's team playing a road game, go follow @NoEscalators on Twitter now, if you're not already.

Here's the official schedule for the games, all times Central.

Time Game Network
6pm #8 Baylor at #13 Kentucky (women) ESPN2
6pm Miami at #8 Florida ESPNU
8pm #1 Connecticut at #6 Stanford (women) ESPN2
10pm #22 SMU at #13 Gonzaga ESPN2
10pm Detroit at Oregon ESPNU
Midnight Auburn at Colorado ESPN2
2am New Mexico State at Saint Mary's ESPN2
4am High Point at Hawaii ESPN2
6am Iona at Wofford ESPN2
8am Northern Iowa at Stephen F. Austin ESPN2
10am Manhattan at UMass ESPN2
11am Baylor at South Carolina ESPN
1pm #11 Wichita State vs Memphis ESPN
3pm #25 Utah at #16 San Diego State ESPN
5pm Toledo at #15 VCU ESPNU
6pm #19 Michigan State vs #4 Duke ESPN
6:30pm Marquette at #20 Ohio State ESPN2
8:30pm #5 Kansas vs #1 Kentucky ESPN
8:30pm Texas Tech at LSU ESPN2

6pm: And we're underway with Baylor-Kentucky on the women's side and Miami-Florida.

6:34pm: Florida's not a terribly exciting squad, are they? 23-15, 4:35 left in the half.

6:37pm: ESPN2 isn't much better. At least that's 2 top 15 women's teams going at it, though..... Except they've combined for 25 turnovers already. YIPES.  Sounds like a perfect time to go on a snack run. YES I'M NOT PREPARED PROPERLY.


8:23pm: Ok, so we got the Canes pulling the upset in Gainesville, we got Kentucky defending Rupp Arena against the invading Baylor Bears, and for a second there, I thought were were going to have another UConn blowout of a top team.  Stanford's staying in it, though.  We also have a bonus game that wasn't on ESPN's press release on the Tip-Off schedule: #14 Iowa State hosting Georgia State, which might be the most talented mid-major team in the country with Kevin Ware and Ryan Harrow.

8:51pm: Stanford's making this interesting.  It's not often you get to see Geno coaching in a tight game.

9:37pm: Stanford's in trouble.  They're already down six and Mosqueda-Lewis just hit a triple a minute or so ago.  They were keeping her from drilling threes for UConn in the first half, but if she's getting on track, the Cardinal are going down. Over on the U, Iowa State's up big on Georgia State.

9:50pm: $5 says that with that haircut, Kevin Pangos doesn't get recognized walking around Gonzaga's campus.

9:58pm: MrsB & I are deadlocked on who to be cheering for in this game. I say UConn, because you can't fight nature.  She says Stanford because *bleep* UConn.  Creighton plays the Huskies on Sunday, and wouldn't it be more fun for a Big East team to end the UConn winning streak, currently at 47 games?

10:12pm: Stanford buries a triple with 1.2 to play, and they head to overtime with UConn!  This is one way to keep my blood pumping.

10:26pm: Pretty sure that ball just barely missed the Stanford player's foot, but we immediately get the world's first instance of "Five count don't lie" as UConn can't even get the ball inbounds.  This overtime session has been fun.

10:30pm: Uh. How do you not get a desperation heave off with 2.6 to play? Geno's gonna be so angry......

10:34pm: And now we head out to The Kennel, for an infinitely less interesting game, as the Zags are already up 27-17 on Larry Brown's Mustangs.

10:46pm: Oh right! Oregon's hosting Detroit over on The U! WAIT.  Crap, that means staring at Oregon's stupid forest clearing floor.

11:01pm: Pac-12 ad uses the catchphrase "The Conference Of Champions."  Just because UCLA has won more titles across every sport than anyone else ever doesn't make the whole conference as a whole that great.

11:08pm: Fran Fraschilla subtly working in some discussion of Gonzaga's offensive rebounding rate as the second half gets started.  I see you, Fran.

11:14pm: Because he was born while his dad, Arvydas, was playing for the Trail Blazers, Domantas Sabonis speaks English and Spanish without trouble, but only speaks a little bit of Lithuanian.  I'll admit it: I laughed.


As if Gonzaga needed the crowd boosted up even more now that they're up 16 on SMU.

11:54pm: With about 3 minutes left and the team up 24, the Gonzaga faithful starts an overrated chant.  I thought y'all were smarter than that.

12:01am: Welcome to Tuesday morning, everyone!  Auburn-Colorado is officially on a short leash.

12:18am: While the early scoring pace is fantastic, I'm checking out until the High Point-Hawaii game at 4 am.

6:58am: Ha! Knew that wasn't going to work.  That's life. What happened while I was asleep? Colorado ran away from Auburn, St. Mary's got a 12 point win over New Mexico State, and High Point went from North Carolina to Hawaii and came away with a win.  John Brown went for 19 and 6.  Did anyone actually watch that one?  Was it an exciting 19 & 6?

7:03am: We're at halftime of Iona-Wofford with the Gaels holding a three point halftime lead.  Wofford's students are the real winners, as the athletic department got Waffle House to cater for them this morning.

7:30am: I like this SportsCenter ad with the Wisconsin football players being whiny jerks about not getting to use the big conference room because they didn't actually reserve it.

8:16am: Skipped the end of Iona-Wofford (a Terriers blowout) to take the offspring to school, but that's fine: Now it's time for Northern Iowa-Stephen F. Austin.  Big match up for the Lumberjacks, who will play Xavier later in the week.

8:47am: A perfect Jeff Van Gundy breakfast: McDonald's oatmeal and a Diet Coke.  I'm going to go vomit now.

9:15am: Jeff Van Gundy is teeing off on Bleacher Report for naming SFA's Thomas Walkup the 14th most fundamentally sound player in college hoops.  Not because that's an absurd thing to make a list about with over 4,000 players, most of which no one ever sees on a regular basis, but because he thinks Walkup IS TOO LOW ON THAT LIST.

9:51am: I'm dying here. Van Gundy's teeing off about having to say that SFA won a Second Round game last season and how stupid it is.  MEANWHILE, the NCAA announced YESTERDAY that they're changing that starting with the 2016 tournament, likely because they already printed the signs for the 2015 tournament.

10:12am: That was not the greatest execution in a tie game that you'll see.  Both SFA & UNI turned it over badly with a chance to take the lead with less than 30 seconds left.  Horrifying.  UPSIDE: OVERTIME IN THE MARATHON!!

10:38am: Heck of an ending to the Northern Iowa-Stephen F. Austin game.  Shame to see the Lumberjack's 34 game home winning streak come to an end that way.  Aside: they had the second longest streak in the country, and before last night, Florida had the third longest streak.  The longest streak? Duke, who sadly will not be in Cameron Indoor Stadium for tonight's game.


UMass still won in overtime, though.

4:40pm: The Baylor-South Carolina game didn't hold my attention, although it was interesting late.  Wichita State-Memphis was a run away for the Shockers.  Utah-San Diego State has been slow goings, and now that it's 36-27 WITH SIX MINUTES LEFT IN THE GAME, I suppose it's tolerable enough to watch.

4:54pm: This game is a scoreboard stinker, but I do regret skipping out on most of it, because Bill Walton is amazing.  I can't believe that this guy used to be afraid to talk because he stuttered.