Wake Up

Wake Up
Photo credit: Illinois Sports Information

Ever had one of those days where you felt like you didn't wake up? Like, you descended deep into REM sleep but only got 70% of the way back when the alarm went off? So you're sipping your coffee and rubbing your eyes and thinking "do I need to go back down there so I can start over and climb all the way out of it?"

I slept fine last night. That's not my point. I'm saying that "am I really awake?" was my main feeling when watching the first 24 minutes of this game.

I texted a friend early in the second half saying that nothing felt real. I knew what I was seeing – we trailed 14-seed Morehead State at the under-16:00 timeout 45-44 – but my brain couldn't catch up to it. I just saw us come back three consecutive games in Minneapolis, so I wasn't worried per se, but... I felt like it wasn't real. The feeling of "if we lose, it's all I'll think about for a full month" had placed me in a trance. A complete daze. That feeling where you stare at your hands and wonder if they're real.

And then, like some hypnotist snapping his fingers, {SNAP} I was out of it. Fully awake. Alert and aware. If this could be bottled as a drug, it would sell very well.

The combination of the stakes ("are we really going to lose to a 14-seed?") and the surge (a 20-3 run in 4 minutes and 51 seconds) created one hell of a rush. I'm pacing and sweating and then I'm casually getting on the elevator at the under-4:00 timeout not worried about what the score is going to be when I reach the tunnel. Maybe the best way to describe this is to go through my tweets.

With Morehead State up 45-43, I tweeted this: