Tom Izzo wants a capacity crowd for Midnight Madness and he's got a good argument for getting it this year. The men's basketball team is ranked by almost everyone in the top two or three heading into the 2009/10 year, while the women are a consensus preseason top ten.
Tonight is your the first chance to see a bulked-up Tom Herzog and a slimmed-down Derrick Nix in action. It's also your chance to see what crazy costume Izzo will don this year (my favorite remains his Leonidas from 300 getup a few years back).
But despite capacity crowds being a near certainty at most big-time basketball schools tonight (Kentucky and Kansas, for example), MSU has never had a sellout for midnight madness. Its a streak that shouldn't exist, given the rich basketball tradition at Michigan State.
This year, there's even more to do. In addition to Izzo's usual theatrics, the 2009 Final Four banner will be raised to the rafters before the event begins. If you're planning to get to East Lansing earlier, women's swimming takes on Illinois at 5 p.m., the homecoming parade begins at 6 and women's volleyball takes on the always dangerous Ohio State at 6:30.
For Midnight Madness, doors open at 9:30 p.m. to an autograph and picture session in the Breslin Center concourse. The program begins at 10:30 p.m. and the men's team takes the floor around midnight.
If you're in or around East Lansing tonight, be sure to be there. You'd make Tom Izzo very happy.