How did yesterday’s jet lag-challenged teams fare on the first day of the NCAA basketball tournament?
BYU came out flat, fell behind and never caught up to Texas A&M. Cal State Northridge was the opposite. They started strong but faded late in a loss to Memphis.
As for UCLA, they’re probably relieved to have escaped with a one-point win. After crossing three time zones to play a late game, they’ll surely get some rest today on their day off.
Which teams are most likely to come out sluggish on day two of the tournament?
Utah St. gets to stay “home” in the Mountain time zone to play Marquette in Boise, Idaho. But it will be an early morning for the Aggies.
The 12:30 p.m. EDT tip-off means that the game will start at 10:30 a.m. locally. It will feel like 11:30 a.m. for sixth-seeded Marquette, which will travel from Milwaukee in the Central time zone.
Stephen F. Austin plays in the earliest game against third-seeded Syracuse. The 12:15 p.m. EDT start in Miami, Fla., will feel like 11:15 in the morning for the Lumberjacks from the state of Texas.
Oklahoma St. faces a similar challenge. The 12:25 EDT tip-off in Dayton, Ohio, will feel like 11:25 a.m. for the eighth-seeded Cowboys. Knoxville, Tenn., is in the part of the state that is in the Eastern time zone. So there will be no time change for the Volunteers.
Travelling east may be a challenge for Arizona St. Arizona does not recognize daylight saving time. So the state is currently three hours behind Eastern Daylight Time.
Temple will try to upset the sixth-seeded Sun Devils at 2:45 EDT in Miami. It will feel like an 11:45 a.m. start for Arizona St.
Cornell will take a long flight from Ithaca, N.Y., to Boise to play third-seeded Missouri. The 3 p.m. EDT start time won’t be a problem. But the long flight could take a toll on the players.
Fifth-seeded Florida St. also had to make the long trip to Boise to play Wisconsin. In addition to the flight, the Seminoles will have to deal with an unusual 9:55 p.m. EDT tip-off.
In the end, sleep can be a challenge for players on every team. The excitement and pressure of the tournament can lead to sleepless nights. The Herald Journal described how the Utah St. players struggled to sleep during their conference tournament.
And players aren’t the only ones fighting sleep loss. Fans on the East Coast have to stay up late to watch all of the 10 p.m. games.
So try to get some sleep even as you enjoy the madness.