I don't think I need to introduce any of our readers here at Bull Run to the concept of Midnight Madness. We're all familiar at least with the practice, and generally know what happens;
- there's a basketball-centric pep rally for students
- there's often a slam dunk and skills competition
- many schools will feature their women's basketball team as well, in the largest crowd they'll see all season
- the head coach will make a speech
- and if he's well-liked enough on campus, will do something vaguely self-deprecating, but also adventurous that earns him respect and adulation from a student population that is all-too-willing to provide those for all the wrong reasons
Buffalo's edition of Midnight Madness - the official start of basketball season in Buffalo is this Friday. Of course, it starts at 7 PM, instead of midnight. I can think of two reasons for this:
- 7 is more family friendly for all the kiddos who will be more interested in the bounce house than the court this season
- Starting at 7 means you're more likely to get students before they start their libations for the night, and students are more likely to show up knowing they can both.
So I suppose that's really just one reason.
Anyway, we went over what typically happens at Midnight Madness above, but you may not remember what happens at Bulls Madness.
This happens at Bulls Madness.
At least it did once. But thank god for .gifs because that means we can relive this forever and forever and forget to do anything else if we want. AT ORACLE GIF ME MITCHELL WATT BREAKING BASKETBALL.
What can you expect from Bulls Madness this year?
Unfortunately, no Mitchell Watt. I'm sad too. We'll all get through it. I promise.
Madness Rating: 0 Watts out of 5 Possible Watts
Early promotions between doors at 6 and tipoff at 7 featuring hosts Brad Riter and DJ Jickster from 97 Rock.
- It would be 2 if it was just Brad Riter, who is stellar. I don't know Jickster, but I'm not inspired.
Team introductions featuring coaches Felisha Legette-Jack and Bobby Hurley
- Trust me on this one, Felisha Legette-Jack is, well, legit. High energy, genuine, and absolutely worth the price of admission if you were thinking of attending some women's games this year. Bobby Hurley at this point has been spoken for. His hiring perhaps got more attention than any other in college hoops, had recruit Shannon Evans flip in 24 hours from seeking a way out from his LOI to taking to twitter to ask for a phone call, and allows nostalgic frontrunner Buffalonians to relive Christian Laettner more and more 20+ years after the fact. Meeting the coaches will be the early highlight of the event.
The women's team, featuring six new players and eight returning letterwinners, including Big Four Preseason Player of the Year Mackenzie Loesing
- The women's team is on the upswing and worth getting to know, but there's not a lot to see here. Loesing, a Sophomore was named Big Four Preseason Player of the Year by the Buffalo News after scoring 11+ ppg as a freshman.
- Please read this as indicative of how high I am on Felisha Legette-Jack, not as a slight on the Men's team. While Hurley looks to be bringing in some strong recruits, and is utilizing transfers and JUCO players to smooth out the scholarship distribution, this is a big year for the men. McCrea is looking at a pro career, and if Regan and Oldham can keep the momentum going from the way they finished their years, we're looking at an upper echelon MAC team even before we talk about Jarryn Skeete, and some of the new blood.
Madness Rating: 2 Watts
- Three point contests are... not really that exciting. But this will be spiced up by the skills competition, especially if the fans are good showmen and get the crowd rocking.
Madness Rating: 0.5 Watts
- Yes, I rate this below the time filler MCs. Real basketball starts in two weeks. Do crazy stuff at Bulls Madness.
Madness Rating: 4.0 Watts
- The staple of all Midnight Madnesses, the slam dunk contest is never long enough, but sometimes it gives us moments of glory like Mitchell Watt's junior year entry. Let me be clear: that dunk would have earned 6.0 Watts on the 5-Watt scale I'm using here. It's a swollen grade based on Watt's time spent adding AP HackySack to his Basketball curriculum
- Grade inflation is a real and dangerous threat to the very fabric of our society, folks.
- Obviously Javon McCrea is the guy to look to here. The first game I saw him play in was his freshman year at Canisius. At one point in the middle of the game he stole the ball at the top of the key and took it to the rim, but not before getting both elbows above the rim before Tomahawking it down. He was only three weeks past his 18th birthday. Our namesake's signature dunk was impressive, but McCrea's was perhaps the most physically frightening I've ever seen live. If I were a judge, all Javon would need to do to win the dunk contest would be go up and Tomahawk one like he did at Koessler. Watch out, though for one of the younger guys like Much or Evans who we're less familiar with to impress with their entry. It would also be approximately the most Xavier Ford thing ever for him to win this.
- The Bills are a good get, but people aren't going to be knocking each other over for Aaron Williams. Melissa Holmes is there for exposure/goodwill between the Bulls and Channel 2. Gaenzler is appropriate, as he does more work with the Bulls than, say, Howard Simon. I also like the idea of a fan judge.
- People I wish were judging:
UB Athletic Director Danny White - instead of a 1-10 scale he could use pictures of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Alexander HamiltonWestern Michigan Football Coach PJ Fleck - do I even need a punchline?Former UB Bull and Buffalo Bill Naaman Roosevelt - I can understand why he's not around more, though. FDR is only on the dime, and Teddy's not on any moneyFormer Bowling Green coach and current ESPN analyst Dan Dakich - so that we could be the Lieutenant Dan to his Forrest Gump, reminding him of the importance of socks
Madness Rating: 2.5 Watts
- Half court shots are surprisingly fun to watch, and students, it would be wise to get the John Hancock of one Mr. Javon McCrea when you have the opportunity.
Madness Rating: 4.5 Watts
- I don't even like Jay Z, and while I enjoy it, I don't actively seek out JT's music. And yet, if I could see one of their shows for the low low cost of a few hours watching basketball-related activity, I would jump like mad at that chance. You should too.
- This is huge. It's only not 5.0 Watts because I know some schools give away tuition at Midnight Madness if you hit a half court shot or whatever. But in comparison, at Boston College while I was there, you could win a raffle to be one of a few people taking half court shots, and then if you hit it, the bookstore paid for your books. 1.0 Watts. By comparison, Jay Z / JT is way better than your textbooks. I promise.
A chance to see the UB Dazzlers' End Zone routine that was unfortunately cut during the UMass Monsoon
- Good for the Dazzlers.
Bulls Madness is this Friday, October 25th, at 7 PM in Alumni Arena. Doors open at 6 PM.
Read the UB Athletics Bulls Madness Announcement here: