Oct. 16, 2009
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- For the first time in 13 years, the University of Michigan men's and women's basketball teams tipped off the season hosting "Michigan Madness" on Friday night (Oct. 16) at Crisler Arena. With nearly 3,500 fans filling up the stands, the Maize and Blue ushered in the 2009-10 season with plenty of fanfare, fun and basketball skills.
Opening the night's activities, the U-M students in attendance were treated to a free meal thanks in part to women's basketball head coach Kevin Borseth's BBQ on the east lawn of Crisler Arena. Famous Dave's provided hot dogs, hamburgers and other food for the U-M student body. Following the opening of the doors, the lower bowl filled quickly with fans and students.
Former captain David Merritt opened the festivities hosting the John Beilein Greek Three-Point Shootout, where members of Michigan's Greek fraternities and sororities joined together to compete for the coveted Beilein trophy. Having to hit a layup, a free throw and a three-pointer, the team of Charlie Zeller and Josh Kruger from Sigma Phi Epsilon and Carl Hedegard from Chi Phi made their way to the finals and went on to take the championship.
In the opening ceremonies to Michigan Madness, players from the men's team and women's teams escorted each other down the aisles while receiving many high fives from the crowd. As the Wolverine players formed a soul train dance line, the U-M coaching staffs made grand entrances, strutting each of their stuff down the court. To cap it off, Borseth danced his way to "Get Ready For This!", while Beilein got the crowd on its feet with "Jump Around".
Hosts for the evening, Sam Webb and Ira Weintraub from WTKA's Michigan's Insider, jumpstarted the evening's first event as the men's and women's Wolverine players and members of the Maize Rage battled in the skills competition. In a back-and-forth battle, the six teams had to dribble two balls to half court, bounce pass one ball into a rim on a bench chair, grab the other ball and run down the floor for a layup, rebound and crossover dribble through cones, before passing the ball off a toss-back machine and finishing with a layup.
After the team of Ben Cronin, Dayeesha Hollins, and Maize Rage member Karlee Pilarki posted a time of 1:22, the last group of the event, comprised of Blake McLimans, Veronica Hicks and Maize Rage president Nick Mattar, responded and pushed their way to a last-second, win posting a 1:21 time.
In the three-point challenge, the teams of Anthony Wright and Hollins and Stu Douglass and Courtney Boylan each posted early tallies of 10 total triples. For the second straight event, it came down to the last group. The final duo of Manny Harris and Carmen Reynolds teamed up and stunned the crowd as Reynolds' fall-away shot with time expiring gave the duo the win with 11 long-range buckets.
In the dunk contest, Darius Morris set the early pace as he opened throwing the ball off the shot clock and slamming it home, garnering a 39. Zack Novak equaled Morris with a 39 of his own as he tossed the ball up midway in the lane and grabbed it for a wind-mill dunk, causing the crowd to erupt.
As the two Wolverines moved onto the finals, Morris electrified the crowd when he tossed the ball up from the three-point line but ignored it as he ran to the hoop and took a pass from Matt Vogrich, who was 10 rows deep in the baseline stands, and slammed it home. With the crowd buzzing from Morris' dunk, Novak went to the baseline and tossed the ball up and grabbed it off the bounce, took the ball through his legs and one-hand dunked, blowing the roof off Crisler Arena. As both players earned the max 40 points, Beilein served as the tiebreaker, giving the win to Novak.
The event closed as both the men's and women's teams each played an eight-minute scrimmage, sang the Victors with the crowd and signed autographs.
The men's program opens its 2009-10 season hosting Wayne State in an exhibition game on Friday, Nov. 6, at Crisler Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m., with the game being broadcasted through the internet at BigTenNetwork.com. The women's program does not play an exhibition game but opens its regular season at Crisler Arena against Ball State on Friday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m.
For all other Wolverine basketball ticket information, please contact the U-M Ticket Department at (734) 764-0247 or on the web at mgoblue.com/tickets.
Men's Basketball Media Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423
Women's Basketball Media Contact: Jessica Poole (734) 763-4423