Big Blue Madness 2012: Analyzing the Best Moments of Kentucky's Opening Practice

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 13, 2012

Oct 11, 2012; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari speaks during media day at Memorial Coliseum. Credit: Mark Zerof-US PRESSWIRE

Friday night was cause for joyous celebration in Lexington, as the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team kicked off its 2012-13 season with an extravagant Big Blue Madness event.

While the overarching point is supposed to be about the team's opening scrimmage, "Midnight Madness" has turned into a nationwide phenomenon for top-tier programs.

Essentially a blown-up pep rally, Big Blue Madness was an opportunity for the Wildcats to introduce fans to the newest crop of freshman and bask in the glory of the past. 

For John Calipari, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate his accomplishments. Fresh off winning his first National Championship in 2012 (and eighth in school history), the Kentucky coach once again brings in the top recruiting class in the nation.

With both facets on display Friday night, here's a look at all the best moments from this year's Big Blue Madness. 


Women's Coach Matthew Mitchell Does the MC Hammer Dance

I'm not quite sure what to say about that other than the fact it made me laugh possibly harder than I have my entire life.

Mitchell's dance, both horrifyingly awkward and endearing at the same time, makes you almost wish that Calipari would join him for a dance battle.

Nevertheless, Kentucky faithful came into Big Blue Madness wondering if Mitchell could top his dance moves from years prior and the women's coach came through in spades.

These events are about putting on a great show for the fans and there was perhaps no more entertaining moment than "Hammer Time" on Friday.


Willie Cauley-Stein Dunks On Nerlens Noel

Perhaps the most thrilling moment of the scrimmage portion of festivities came when Cauley-Stein took a beautiful behind-the-back pass from Archie Goodwin and threw down on the Wildcats' top recruit. 

While it was certainly a friendly posterization, the two freshmen will be battling it out in practice all season long. With Round 1 in the books, I'm scoring it 10-8 in favor of Cauley-Stein.

Something tells me Noel will be getting his revenge sooner rather than later, though.


Amazing On-Court Promotional Video

Perhaps the most lavish segment of the evening came when workers spread out a projection screen over the court for a video that honored both Kentucky's past and present.

Seen in the video are seemingly draw-ups of past plays by great Kentucky players, including John Wall and Rajon Rondo, instead of your standard highlight reel.

Though it may have been a little confusing at first for those in attendance, that video was a stroke of absolute genius.


The Re-Raising of the Banners

Easily the best moment of the night, Kentucky brought back stars from previous National Championship teams to join Calipari in re-raising the banners to the rafters.

While this night was certainly about the kickoff of a new season, it was obvious that the Wildcats wanted to celebrate and honor the past.

This was a touching moment for almost every Kentucky fan and was easily the highlight of Friday night's festivities. 



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