Hoops Mania a big success

Daniel Madden

More than 5,000 students, alumni and children invaded the Pavilion with painted bodies and booming voices to support the Wildcats at this year’s Hoops Mania on Oct. 24.Various contests, including a chance to win $1 million, and several different dance routines kept the crowd lively and cheering throughout the night. The football team made an appearance, encouraging the fans to storm Villanova Stadium for the following day’s showdown with James Madison. The women’s basketball team rallied the crowd as team members danced to their introductions.Members of the men’s team walked individually down a red carpet amid the support of the Villanova Dance Team and the music of Lupe Fiasco’s “Superstar.”Men’s basketball team Head Coach Jay Wright fired up the crowd when he sent his team into the stands, rifling up cheers and chants. The players then took students from the crowd to center court for the ritual huddle. The dunk contest, including Dante Cunningham’s memorable dunk over manager Keith Urgo, and the intra-squad scrimmage arguably dominated the night’s events. In the scrimmage, the White squad defeated the Blue squad, and Taylor King, a transfer from Duke who must sit out this year, led all scorers with 11 points.Hip-hop artist T-Pain concluded the night by performing a few songs. Fans flocked to the front to see him and sang along to “Buy You A Drank.” Alumni of the men’s basketball team, including Class of ’07 graduate Will Sheridan and U.S. Men’s Olympic Basketball Assistant Executive Director Sean Ford, returned for the event. With all players returning, this year’s men’s basketball team looks to make serious noise in the Big East despite a stacked conference, and Hoops Mania increased that hype.