Oct. 13, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State basketball tipped off the 2012-13 season with Midnight Madness Friday night at Breslin Center. In front of a near capacity crowd, the Spartan men's and women's programs celebrated a new season with a superhero theme, as women's coach Suzy Merchant was dressed as Wonder Woman, and men's coach Tom Izzo, the man from Iron Mountain, Mich., was in full Iron Man suit.
Coach Izzo has had his share of dramatic introductions, but Friday night's ranks among the very best. Following the men's team entrances through the Spartan crowd, a video played explaining that Sparty had been captured by the "Legion of Doom." In order to save Sparty, Coach Izzo transformed into Iron Man. The video ended and the eyes of all in attendance turned to the corner of the arena just in time to see Iron Man fly through the arena on a zip line, eventually crashing into a stack of boxes to free Sparty. Emerging from the wreckage were the Izzo family, with son Steven dressed as Captain America, wife Lupe and daughter Raquel dressed as Black Widow from "Avengers," and of course, Coach Izzo as Iron Man.
The women's team celebrated the 40th anniversary of the program, with the different classes celebrating different 10-year spans. Following the player introductions, Coach Merchant emerged from the Breslin Center tunnel in a green convertible in her Wonder Woman outfit, accompanied by her sons Tyler and Brady, dressed in Superman costumes.
Following the introductions, both teams took to the court. The women's team got the fans involved with a series of ball-handling and shooting contests, while the men's team scrimmaged for 15 minutes, featuring several dunks and end-to-end action.