Basketball team set to kick off season with ‘Morning Madness’ event

By Patrick McAteer / Editor in Chief

This year, celebration of the Pitt basketball team’s season will begin not at midnight — as is commonly done at other universities — but in the morning.

The Pitt Athletic Department announced that Pitt’s basketball-season-opening fanfest, known commonly in the college-sports community as Midnight Madness, will occur instead at 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 28 at Stage AE, prior to the homecoming football game against Virginia. The athletic department has named the event “Morning Madness,” and it will take part in the department’s Super Saturday homecoming events schedule. 

Chris Ferris, the associate athletic director for external relations, said Morning Madness is a logical follow up to last year’s outdoor Madness Event.

“It’s really all about trying to be creative and fun and to do something different,” he said.

 Despite the early start time for the event, Ferris says he’s confident that it will draw a crowd comparable to last year’s season-opening event, when the team opened its practice schedule with a Midnight Madness event on Bigelow Boulevard during Homecoming weekend. He credited the Panther Pitt, the football team’s student section, and the Oakland Zoo, the basketball team’s student section for attracting large number of students to sporting events this year. 

Admission to the event is free to the public and gates will open at 9:30 a.m. The event will feature player introductions, promotional activities and a slam-dunk contest leading up to the football game at 12:30 p.m.