The third annual Tip-Off Marathon starts at midnight Eastern. For the second year in a row, ESPN will run games for more than 24 consecutive hours (they took a break for studio stuff in year one). Sure, it's a gimmick, but it's a fun one.
For the second consecutive year, I will again attempt to make it all the way through. The challenge will be a little more difficult this season, thanks to the presence of a key game between San Diego State and Gonzaga at 11 p.m. Tuesday night.
Here's a link to the preview for the evening games.
That matchup feels like it's a long way off right now. After the jump, I'll take a look at the overnight and daytime games. Before the jump, I'll have updates.
12:04 a.m. ET: And we're underway in Memphis. Tigers win the tip to start things off.
1:10 a.m. ET: Memphis up a single point at the break in game 1, 38-37. Sloppy game between the Tigers and Miami so far, but entertaining nonetheless. Both teams' field goal percentage improved late in the half, as they're now both threatening to hit 40%. 30 would have been impressive earlier in the half.
2:27 a.m. ET: Memphis prevails over Miami, 72-68. Thanks to a combined 58 fouls, this game took forever and a day to finish. The Hurricanes' ill-advised shot selection (32.8%, 15.8 from 3) really cost them, even with a sizable 46-27 advantage on the boards. Time to switch over to St. John's at St. Mary's.
2:41 a.m. ET: We have our first technical foul. Steve Lavin is definitely back, as he's whistled for complaining about an elbow that was rather inadvertent.
2:52 a.m. ET: ESPN's Carter Blackburn just mentioned the Red Storm have a home game with Columbia Wednesday night at 8 ET. That's not as bad as what UNF did over the weekend, but still.
2:59 a.m. ET: We have another good one going in Moraga, as St. John's leads St. Mary's 31-28 at the half. Dwight Hardy airballed a 3 attempt for the Red Storm at the buzzer.
6:01 a.m. ET: And we're back after some site maintenance. Clint Steindl, the Aussie Osprey, went 7 of 10 from 3, scoring 22 to help St. Mary's get by St. John's 76-71. Right now, Hawai'i leads Central Michigan 60-59 with under 4 minutes left. It's been, um, interesting, in Honolulu.
6:17 a.m. ET: Hawai'i held off Central Michigan, 65-62, to finish 3-0 in the Rainbow Classic. The Chippewas could have had tied or won it at the end with better clock management and possession.
6:33 a.m. ET: I think many may be taking a nap during this Stony Brook-Monmouth contest, despite the sight of the Hawks' sparkling new arena. It's tied at 11 at the 1st half under 8. For Monmouth, they have 11 points and 10 fouls at this early stage. And why are they giving a weather report for an indoor sport?
6:54 a.m. ET: Monmouth leads Stony Brook 24-20 at the break. The less said about the first half between the Seawolves and Hawks, the better. The two teams combined to go 0 for 15 from 3 and 22 fouls.
8:09 a.m. ET: The second half of Stony Brook and Monmouth was a bit better, as the teams woke/warmed up. Marcus Ware moved himself behind the arc and promptly missed a three that would have won the game for the Hawks. Instead, the Seawolves prevailed, 51-49. The teams combined for 4 triples on 33 total attempts.
8:56 a.m. ET: Robert Morris was ready to play at 8 a.m. As for Kent State, they'll need some coffee or an energy drink during the interval. The Colonials shot nearly 45 percent in the first 20 minutes, while the Golden Flashes struggled to break 30%. RMU leads 35-23.
10:09 a.m. ET: Kent State woke up, outscoring Robert Morris 39-24 in the second half. Randal Holt delivered a go-ahead three--off a deflected entry pass--with 29 seconds to go. The Golden Flashes held on in the dying moments for a 62-59 home win over the two-time defending NEC champs.
10:58 a.m. ET: Another early start, another rough first half for both teams. A Southern Illinois team that's trying to get back on the national radar leads rebuilding Northeastern at the half by a 33-27 score. The Huskies have 9 made field goals and 11 fouls so far; the host Salukis 11 FGs and 12 fouls.
12:14 p.m. ET: Night has turned to morning has turned to afternoon. Chase Allen, who was held scoreless until the 10:27 mark of the second, scored 9 in the half. However, he missed the first of a one-and-one (which looked to be a shooting foul) with three seconds left that would probably have put the Huskies ahead for good. Southern Illinois couldn't do anything with the rebound and we're headed to overtime for the first time today. The score is 60-all at the start of the extra period.
12:27 p.m. ET: Well, the two teams combined for four points in the first 4:58 of OT, and things looked destined for a second extra session. An unknown Southern Illinois player called timeout right after a rebound. (The refs apparently couldn't pin the call on anyone specific. Oops.) The problem: the Salukis were out of timeouts. Chase Allen hit a free throw to give the Huskies a 63-62 lead with 2.5 seconds left. Carlton Fay's baseball pass failed and the Huskies head back to Boston with a win.
12:57 p.m. ET: Home teams are 4-2 so far today, but Tulsa is in danger of becoming the third to fall, as they're trailing crosstown rival Oral Roberts at the half, 36-29. The Golden Hurricane's biggest issue so far has been turnovers (11 vs. 7 for ORU), but only shooting 50 percent from the charity stripe isn't helping matters either.
2:17 p.m. ET: Our first six margins of victory today were 4, 5, 3, 2, 3, 1. The seventh isn't in that neighborhood, in fact, Tulsa's eventual margin over Oral Roberts (15) was quite close to that combined total of 18. The Golden Hurricane used an 8-0 run in the first two minutes of the half to grab the lead and never looked back, prevailing 83-68. Four Tulsa players hit double figures in scoring, led by junior forward Steven Idlet, who scored 20, and Justin Hurtt's 19.
2:54 p.m. ET: Baylor has been trying to pull away from La Salle in the later stages of the 1st half, but the Explorers continue to hang around. The Bears lead at the half, 32-29. Quincy Acy has been a force for the hosts, scoring 14 and grabbing 7 boards.
4:03 p.m. ET: Baylor and La Salle ended just before the top of the hour, getting things on track. The Explorers hung in a lot longer than I anticipated, falling 74-64. Both teams were atrocious from beyond the arc, which ultimately contributed to La Salle's defeat. The Bears have some hope on that front when LaceDarius Dunn returns from his three-game suspension, and since they already have the formidable interior combo of Quincy Acy (25 pts, 10 boards) and Perry Jones III (12 and 10), they look like they're going to go places again in the Big 12 this season.
4:30 p.m. ET: At the 1st half under 12 timeout, Jacob Pullen is sitting for the Wildcats after picking up his 3rd personal foul, moments after he returned to the game from a break that resulted from his second. It's currently 13-11 Kansas State, and Virginia Tech hasn't yet shown they'll be able to take advantage of the Bearded One's absence.
5:04 p.m. ET: Not a very pretty half by any means. Kansas State is up 30-29, a lead that would probably be greater if Jacob Pullen had played more. The reason Virginia Tech is still in this one: The Hokies went 10-15 from the line in the half, while the Wildcats only hit 3 of 11 freebees.
5:34 p.m.: Now that Marist-Villanova is underway, I'm closing this thread and moving things over to the night post.
While not an official part of the marathon, the NIT Season Tip-Off West semifinal between Pepperdine at UCLA will be underway on ESPNU (11 p.m. ET tip), so you'll have two viewing options for the first hour of the event.
Miami at Memphis, 12 a.m. ET (ESPN): The Tigers will play their first game without McDonald's All-American Jelan Kendrick, who left the team Saturday. As Dan Wolken writes in that Memphis Commercial-Appeal blog post, it may be a case of addition by subtraction for the Tigers. As for the Hurricanes, they're out to make an early statement after a rough 2009-10 campaign.
St. John's at St. Mary's, 2 a.m. ET (ESPN): This is Steve Lavin's debut at the helm of the Red Storm. He'll hope to do better in this location and timeslot than San Diego State did last year.
Central Michigan at Hawai'i (Rainbow Classic), 4 a.m. ET (ESPN): The Warriors can go 3-0 and claim the tournament crown with a win in the final game of the round-robin.
Stony Brook at Monmouth, 6 a.m. ET (ESPN): The Hawks, led by 6-7 junior Travis Taylor, finally get to show off their new arena as they host the America East co-favorites.
Robert Morris at Kent State, 8 a.m. ET (ESPN): The Colonials started their campaign off well, with a home win over St. Peter's. They'll hope to replicate their defensive performance against the Golden Flashes, who went 2-1 in the Cleveland State round-robin over the weekend.
Northeastern at Southern Illinois, 10 a.m. ET (ESPN): The Salukis will look to rebound from Saturday's defeat at Illinois, while the Huskies got a two-point win over city rivals Boston U to open the post-Matt Janning and co. era.
Oral Roberts at Tulsa, 12 p.m. ET (ESPN): The Golden Eagles are looking for their first win over their crosstown rivals since November 27, 2007. Since the Golden Hurricanes no longer have Ben Uzoh and Jerome Jordan on the roster, ORU has a chance.
La Salle at Baylor, 2 p.m. ET (ESPN): LaceDarius Dunn will be sitting this one out for the Bears, but considering the Explorers struggled with Columbia on Friday, Scott Drew may not need him.
Virginia Tech at Kansas State, 4 p.m. ET (ESPN): The final game of the afternoon begins a strong run of matchups. This one pits a Wildcat team who could be the class of the Big 12 against a Hokie squad who will contend in the ACC. Jacob Pullen vs. Malcolm Delaney anyone?
I'll have another post featuring the evening games (marathon and others) at noon ET. In the meantime, please feel free to discuss the night and day's events in the Comments.