The Murray State basketball program received plenty of national attention last year. Its accomplishments have continued the trend into the new 2012-13 season. Murray State made ESPNU’s list of 13 schools to be featured on its Oct. 12 “Midnight Madness” college basketball kick-off program.
Murray State is the only mid-major program selected by ESPNU for the annual kick-off show. Other teams include Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina State, Syracuse, North Carolina, Missouri, Pittsburg, Maryland, Florida State, Georgetown, Baylor and Kansas.
University Assistant Athletic Director Dave Winder said it is an incredible honor to be the only school Murray State’s size to be chosen for the program.
“I think it’s a nice bonus from last season, we were definitely a media darling last year,” Winder said. “Our coaches and players have worked really hard. This is kind of an extra reward.”
Miles Simon, former guard for the University of Arizona, will be reporting live from the CFSB Center. Simon played for Arizona in 1997 and defeated the University of Kentucky in overtime for the national championship.
The Midnight Madness program will feature discussion and analysis from some of the top names in basketball, including Murray State favorite Dick Vitale. There will also be coverage of scrimmages, head coach and athlete interviews and team introductions.
Morris White, Murray State director of marketing and promotions, said he thinks this coverage will be a great start to the 2012-13 basketball season.
“I think since it’s national exposure, it’ll definitely kick off the season,” White said.
Racer Madness will highlight the start of the Murray State basketball program and the start to its year with many different events. First, both the men and women’s teams will be introduced, including new players to the 2012-13 programs. In a three-point shootout contest, each student athletewill represent a section of the stands. If an athlete wins the shootout, everyone in his or her section will receive a prize. Murray State basketball fans will also see the men’s team scrimmage for the first time this year. Racer band, the cheerleaders and Racer girls will also perform. White said there will be a number of events in which students can participate.
“(Racer Madness) will include a number of things, a number of exciting things,” White said. “I won’t give away all the secrets. What I can say is that someone will have an opportunity to win $10,000.”
Racer Madness also falls on the same weekend as Murray State Homecoming. Although there will be many Homecoming events, Winder said he is not worried at all about crowd turnout.
“There will be a lot of people not from around here that’ll be in town,” Winder said. “It’s the first time we’ve done something like this on Homecoming. It’s a great opportunity for alumni to come out and see the team. We aren’t starting until 9:15 p.m., which is good since there are so many dinners and other events for Homecoming.”
The televised event, nicknamed “Racer Madness,” will begin at 9:15 p.m. and will showcase both the men’s and the women’s basketball teams. Admission is $5 and free for Murray State students.
Both White and Winder anticipate a large crowd for Racer Madness. They said it all depends on the student body and how excited everyone is to start off the season.
“I expect the crowd turnout to be good; people love their Racer basketball,” White said. “We want students to bring their signs and fatheads and be as excited as they would be during a home game. We want to put our best foot forward and our students are the catalyst for all that energy.”
Lexy Gross, Staff Writer