Georgetown's John Thompson III sips Pepto Bismol before games
The pregame rituals of athletes are the stuff of legend.
Less well-known, however, are the rituals that coaches go through in the hours and minutes prior to a game. Ten NCAA Division I men's basketball coaches shared with USA Today what they do before their team tips off. College basketball is already a high-stress job, and the stakes only increase as the season wears on.
That may help explain the ritual of Georgetown coach John Thompson III, who enjoys Pepto Bismol.
"I do have a couple of swigs—it's not like I drink the whole bottle," Thompson III said. "But it settles my stomach. That is an actual fact."
Nebraska coach Tim Miles also has an entertaining ritual, which involves him finding a penny—one that is perhaps arranged for him to find.
"I'm guessing on occasion there might be one planted somewhere in my vision," he said.
While the stress of leading a college basketball team is felt by all coaches, each of them deals with it in a different way. So if you see one laying down or furtively sipping a beverage before a game in this year's NCAA tournament, now you'll have a good idea why.