Georgetown's John Thompson III sips Pepto Bismol before games

Tuesday March 17th, 2015

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.

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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.

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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.

- Christopher Woody
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