DAHLONEGA, Ga. – As the fall season begins to wrap up in the closing weeks, schools across the country are beginning preparations for the next season with great anticipation – basketball season. North Georgia College & State University is no different as the 2012-13 season promises to be an exciting one and to celebrate the start of the new season, the Saints are bringing back Midnight Madness on Thursday, Oct. 18 with a new theme – “Sending off the Saints.”
Midnight Madness is annually celebrated on college campuses across the country to celebrate the first day in mid-October when the NCAA allows basketball teams to participate in formal practices. In the past, the event which has turned into a pep rally has taken on a literal meaning as teams hold their first practice at the stroke of midnight.
This year, the official start date is Monday, Oct. 15, but because the celebration would start the night before, Sunday, Oct. 14, North Georgia has decided to hold off until Thursday, Oct. 18.
Midnight Madness will be the first opportunity for students and fans to meet the 2012-13 Saints from both squads. The theme of “Sending off the Saints” will also be a celebration of the campus uniting under the nickname “Saints” heading into the final stretch as the school consolidates with Gainesville State College in January and adopts a new mascot.
This year promises to be a great time for those in attendance with the first 400 fans through the doors receiving a spirit towel to wave and twirl during not just Midnight Madness, but also at every home game.
There will be refreshments as well as games with chances to win prizes including, but not limited to a gym membership and t-shirts donated by the North Georgia Campus Connection Bookstore and one lucky fan will have the opportunity to compete for a one-year lease on a new Honda sedan.
Students will be chosen at random from Greek organizations, residence halls, the Corps as well as commuter status.
The madness will start at 10 p.m. with music and games before the Saints’ cheerleading and dance teams perform for the crowd. When the clock strikes 11:00 p.m., the women’s basketball team will be introduced to the crowd followed by the unveiling of the men’s team. Both teams will run through a set of drills before members of the crowd are chosen to compete in a few final games with the Saints basketball players.