Michigan State Madness Opens 2011-12 Basketball Season
Oct. 15, 2011
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The 2011-12 Michigan State basketball season is officially underway. The Spartan basketball programs hosted their annual Midnight Madness on Friday night at the Breslin Center, welcoming in the new season.
When the doors opened at 9:30 p.m., MSU fans rushed to get in line for their favorite Spartans' autograph, as both the men's and women's teams were spread out on the concourse. After an hour of autograph opportunities, fan filled the Breslin Center for the beginning of the night's festivities.
The Spartan Marching Band, cheer team and drum line entertained the crowd in the early stages, before the introduction of the women's team. Each player made their way down an aisle one-at-a-time to a selected walk-out song, setting the stage for head coach Suzy Merchant's entrance. Before making her way to the court, a video parody of Merchant as Rocky entertained the fans. The leader of the 2011 Big Ten Champions made her way to a make-shift boxing ring at midcourt, dressed in a Rocky boxing robe and carrying her son Brady.
As part of their reunion weekend, over 40 former men's basketball players (including current NBA star Shannon Brown and MSU Hall of Famer Mateen Cleaves), coaches and managers came to midcourt to welcome the 2011-12 Spartans down to the floor. Like the women's team, the men were introduced one-at-a-time and made their way down the Breslin Center aisles.
As always, the focus of those in attendance turned to how head coach Tom Izzo was going to make his entrance. The video board showed a Top Gun trailer with Izzo inserted in the role of Maverick. Upon the conclusion, Izzo drove onto the crowd in a miniature version of a fighter jet, dressed in a full flight suit, with the Izzo family serving as ground support.
After the player introductions, the women's and men's teams each scrimmaged for 10 minutes to conclude the night.
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