MHERST, Mass. -- The 2001-02 UMass men's basketball season officially tips off Friday, Oct. 12, with Midnight Madness at the William D. Mullins Memorial Center.
The doors to this free event open at 10:30 p.m., and fans and students may pick up their tickets in advance through the UMass Athletic Ticket Office, located in the Mullins Center, daily from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tickets may also be picked up at the Campus Center Hotel (lower level) or the Curry Hicks Cage Ticket Office daily between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Not only does Midnight Madness signal the official start to the 2001-02 basketball season in Amherst, but it also officially begins the Steve Lappas-era. Lappas, of course, came to UMass last spring after nine highly-successful seasons at Villanova, and is the sixth-winningest coach in Big East Conference history.
"Midnight Madness is a great way for us to start the season," Lappas said. "It should be great fun for our fans and players. We are really looking forward to it."
The night will feature contests such as the Fathers and Sons Shootout, the Hangar Boxing Challenge and the Coca-Cola/Big Y Coaches vs. Students 3-on-3 Tournament, TheSpringBreakGirl.com spring break giveaway and the Cinemark Sumo Challenge. Midnight Madness will also feature the UMass cheer and dance teams, as well as an introduction of the women's basketball squad.
Other highlights include the introduction of the 2001-02 Minuteman team at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13, a fireworks and laser light shows, a dunk contest between the Minutemen and a three-point shooting contest between team members and the student body.
The evening will again be hosted by Lazer 99.3's Quinn & Cantara, and Springfield's WGGB-TV (Channel 40) will televise live from the Mullins Center beginning at 11:35 p.m.