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Big Blue Madness Madness: The MC Hammer Region


Big Blue Madness, or rather, “Midnight Madness,” is a tradition started by Joe B. Hall back in 1982. Joe B. modeled it after midnight practices Lefty Dreisell used to have in the 70’s to celebrate the first day of practice. More than three decades later, it has become a staple of college basketball, with almost every major program putting on some kind of event for fans to commemorate the beginning of the season. Naturally, Kentucky’s has always been one of the largest in the sport, morphing from a gathering of 8,500 fans at Memorial Coliseum into a 24,000+ sold out event that fans camp out almost an entire week to get tickets for.

For the Big Blue Nation, “Madness” marks the first time fans get a glimpse of their team, and in turn, has created countless memories over the years. We made a list of the 16 best Madness moments and pitted them against each other in a bracket. Each night this week, you guys will vote for your favorites to move on to the Final Four, and on Friday, your votes will decide The Ultimate Madness Moment.

Last night, you voted on “The Dougie Region.” Here are the results:

Matthew Mitchell doing “The Dougie” (2010): 56% (1702)
Walter McCarty and Tony Delk as “Catman and Robin” (1995): 44% (1326)

The Rupp Arena Floor becomes a projection screen (2012): 56% (1702)
Past Greats re-raise the banners (2012): 39% (1232)

Those two moments will move to the Elite Eight, which you’ll vote on later this week.

Tonight, we unveil “The MC Hammer Region”:

Matthew Mitchell as MC Hammer (2012)


Cloggers (2006)

Cal’s State of the Program speech (2009)


Big Boo Madness on Halloween (1992)


Matthew Mitchell as MC Hammer
Year: 2012
Why it’s great: The pressure was on Matthew Mitchell to raise the bar even higher during his Big Blue Madness introduction in 2012 after two impressive years of dancing for the Rupp Arena crowd. With “The Dougie” and a Michael Jackson tribute to top, Mitchell came out in Hammer pants, breakdancing his way across the stage to “U Can’t Touch This” and “2 Legit 2 Quit”, two classic MC Hammer jams.

He worked in a move from Gangnam Style for good measure, too.


The Cloggers
Year: 2006
Why it’s great: In maybe the most bizarre Big Blue Madness performance, and that’s saying something, a group of cloggers called “ALL THAT!” tap-danced or clogged or whatever you want to call it alongside the UK band to kick off the festivities. The quintet donned their own custom No. 1 Kentucky basketball jerseys while stomping around to Run DMC’s “Walk This Way”.


Calipari’s State of the Program speech
Year: 2009
Why it’s great: Coach Cal took the stage for the first time in front of the Big Blue faithful at Madness in 2009. Many of the words he said that night still echo out today:

“The destination is clear and our challenges are many. we must Meld six new players together with seven returning wildcats and Get them on one page with one heartbeat.  we must create a trust and a bond; respect and adoration; acceptance and affection. then, over time, those qualities will turn into love for one  another. When that happens – when they become a family in every sense, when they care more about their teammates than themselves – It’s at that point when we will become unbreakable and unbeatable.”

“My friends, we have an enormous mountain to climb.  Tonight, We are at the base of that mountain. other programs begin this pre-season returning the same coach, the same players, the same offense. . . they are miles ahead of us and half way up the mountain. Our team, on the other hand, has a new system, a new style, new players, new coaches. . .almost everything is foreign and unknown. But what we do have is a wealth of skill, energy and determination. if I have my choice between experience and talent, I’m taking talent every time.”


“Big Boo Madness – A Monster Bash”
Year: 1992
Why it’s great: The Halloween-themed “Big Boo Madness” of 1992 featured a highlight video of Jamal “Monster Mash” Mashburn and, as one KSR commenter reminded us, Cawood Ledford popping out of a casket to start the show. Rodrick Rhodes, Jared Prickett and Tony Delk made up the incoming class of freshmen and everyone in attendance went home with a Mashburn poster.


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Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

7 responses to “Big Blue Madness Madness: The MC Hammer Region”

  1. pfife

    The dancing Mitchell and the ladycats/hoops have diluted big blue madness. This is the truth. I’m not asking you to believe me.

  2. KF

    Coach Cal gave the greatest speech ever in 2009. Thanks to KSR for bringing back that speech to history fans..Looks like the Cats have come a long way. One NCCAA Championship accomplished.
    What is next? Hopefully another…

  3. ibescootch

    Ahhh! That clogger dude’s almost-sideways hat makes me angry. I can only imagine that group uses lots of hair-gel, wears expensive cowboy boots, has calf tattoos, uses heavy cologne, and isn’t afraid of blond frosted tips… 15 years after it was popular. I call them “metronecks”.

  4. BurnerTurner5

    Wrong. Cawood did not pop out of a casket. A camera came up from behind someone playing an old pipe organ wearing a cape. You couldn’t see the persons face. When he turned around it was Cawood. He said “Boo Welcome to Big Boo Madness 1992” Memorial Coliseum went nuts. That’s when Midnight Madness was fun. No womens team. No dancing.

  5. barn

    aahhh…….the cloggers. I had almost forgotten

  6. Goosebumps

    “My vision is one of celebrations and banquets; diplomas and banners; rings and parades. . .

    . . . A return of this legendary program back to its rightful place atop the mountain of college basketball.”

    When I heard those words I wanted to play for Cal, those words are exactly what Kentucky fans were thinking and feeling in one way or another, and when he said them, the way he said them, it gave me, and probably a lot of the BBN out there chills.

    The best part is that he has delivered, and I can’t wait to see what this season holds.

  7. DT in DC

    #4 is right. I was there. My first MM as a Freshman at UK. There was a UK/LSU football game that evening at Commonwealth. While we waiting in line (before the sissy ticket business) people from LSU were stopping their cars asking what was going on. When we told them they all said, “Why aren’t you at the football game instead?” Vividly remember a friend buying a 5th of bourbon for us at Wildcat Liquor and us using the brown paper bag for trick or treating with the cars as they stopped at the stoplight at Euclid. We got some great stuff from people!