The madness begins early as SU men's and women's basketball officially begins

The two squads displayed what each respective team will look like the annual Orange Madness. The event officially kicks off the start of the college basketball season.

The glitz and glamour of Orange Madness kicked off the start of the basketball season for both the men and women’s basketball team. The one night spectacle was held in front of a Syracuse crowd that got its first taste of what the 2013-2014 season may look like for both squads.

The smoke-filled introductions and dizzying light show was complemented with interesting dance moves from the basketball players who walked out to personally chosen songs. The introductions culminated with head coach Jim Boeheim riding through the inflatable tunnel in a yellow taxicab as he received a voracious applause from the crowd and a montage of his greatest moments on the scoreboard.

The Syracuse men’s basketball team for the 2012-13 season was honored for its Final Four appearance with a ring ceremony. The ceremony honored all players and recognized those that were unable to attend the event, such as Michael Carter Williams and James Southerland.

Rakeem Christmas jumps over two Syracuse fans during Orange Madness at The Dome. (Photo: Ziniu Chen)

Spliced in between the inter-squad scrimmages were acts by Hilby the Skinny German Juggle Boy, who rode a unicycle and did different balloon tricks with singing acts by two of the night’s emcees. The student section was given the chance to start the evening with a rousing rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner”.

The women’s team scrimmage finished at a score of 10-7 as they only played in eight minutes of action, while the men played for a total of 16 minutes. C.J. Fair did his best for the “white” team, scoring 12 points in the first half. But it wasn’t enough as the “orange” team won by a score of 55-46. The fast-paced affair led to a lot of open look for both teams, including sophomore Trevor Cooney. The guard took advantage of the looks, leading the squad with an onslaught of five three-pointers with Tyler Ennis running point guard duties.

The slam-dunk contest was the finishing touch of the night, with Rakeem Christmas and Michael Gbinije meeting in the finals. The first dunk of each opponent led to 10’s from the judges so the action was forced to a sudden death where Gbinije was able to get the best of his teammate by nailing his first dunk. It took Christmas multiple attempts to land the dunk after bringing two children onto the court to jump over.

The men’s basketball team has its first exhibition game at home on Nov. 1 against Holy Family University, while the women’s team will play its first game at Washington State on Nov. 10.

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