MSU basketball fans from all over filled the Breslin Student Events Center on Friday evening for the celebration of Midnight Madness.
Both the men’s and the women’s basketball teams are looking forward to what they hope be another successful season for both teams, with fans doing much of the same.
“I am anxious to see what Denzel does for his senior year and another big Tom Izzo season.” MSU alumna and Lansing native Meg Smith said. “You look at a team like last year that didn’t have the talent they did a couple years before that, but they worked together, they fought, they did what they needed to do, they played tough and that’s the kind of grit I want to see from our Spartans.”
The event started at 8:30 p.m. with open autograph panels all across the Breslin in which players from both the men’s and the women’s teams were able to meet and interact with fans.
Following a showcase from the MSU drumline, cheer and dance teams, the women’s basketball team was introduced to a pumped up Spartan crowd. Each of the lady Spartans were able to showcase their impressive dance skills when the MC introduced them and then head coach Suzy Merchant praised her team for all of their hard work leading up to this season.
“We’re big, we’re athletic and we’re ready to come out this year,” Merchant said. “And if everything goes our way we hope to bring a title back home with us.”
But the biggest speculation of the night was men’s head coach Tom Izzo’s entrance. Izzo has had a history of grand entrances and this year was no exception. It started with a video parody of Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation where Izzo was a secret agent and was hanging on to a jet plane like a thread dangling in the wind. Izzo proceeded to parachute off of the plane and land in front of the Breslin where he made his appearance with the rest of his family. And to put icing on the cake a Tom Cruise lookalike accompanied Izzo on to the court.
All flashiness aside, Izzo was ecstatic to tell Spartan fans what his expectations were for this upcoming season.
“It’s going to be an incredible year for us.” Izzo said, “The mission is to win another National Championship. We have no interest anymore in winning games, we have interest in hanging banners.”
And to crescendo the evening, the men’s team raised their 2015 Final Four Banner to an erupting crowd at the Breslin.
The women's team will play their first exhibition game against Michigan Tech at home on Nov. 8 while the men’s team will begin exhibition play against Northern Michigan on Nov. 4 at Breslin Center.