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Big Blue Madness 2012: Top five moments

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The 2012 edition of Big Blue Madness is in the books, and what a show it was.

There were dances, dunks, video displays like you've never seen before and more dances as fans packed Rupp Arena to its rafters for the annual spectacle that rings in the start of the college basketball season.

Since it wasn't an event where the final score mattered and no coaches or student-athletes were available for interviews afterward, we're going to take a little different after-the-fact look at the proceedings than your typical column or game story.

Without further ado, here are the top five moments from Big Blue Madness 2012:

5. Men's, women's players show off dance moves


After the volleyball team swept away Mississippi State to start the evening and the volleyball court turned back into one for basketball, the women's basketball team was ready for its introduction.

The Wildcats broke normal tradition, coming to the floor as a team before being introduced individually. There were a few stray moves shown off in the initial intros, but the women kept things pretty simple before their coach came out - which we'll address later.

They collectively stepped their game up after a few drills and a short scrimmage. The team - which will be ranked in the top 10 preseason - split up into three groups of four for impressive choreographed routines, drawing big reactions from fans. When they wrapped things up with a dance medley featuring the entire roster, they brought the house down.

As for the men, there was a lot of media day chatter about who would impress with their dances. Ryan Harrow proclaimed himself the best dancer on the team and his moves were solid, if a little reserved. Nerlens Noel had perhaps the funniest move, framing his flat top, but the clear victor was Archie Goodwin. He was confident about his dancing for a reason.

4. The men's scrimmage

In theory at least, Madness is a basketball practice, but anybody who has seen or attended the event knows it's about much more than that.

Nonetheless, Madness builds up to a 20-minute scrimmage between members of the men's team. Defense is somewhat scarce and the competition a little less than top level, but the athleticism of John Calipari's latest team was on display.

The two teams combined for 111 points in the 20 minutes and there were plenty of dunks along the way. Goodwin's speed was clear, as was Noel's ridiculous range on the defensive end. Willie Cauley-Stein ran the floor like he was playing wide receiver again, Julius Mays showed off his sweet shooting stroke and Alex Poythress used his versatility to tally 18 points.

The standouts, though, were a pair of players who participated in Madness last year. Kyle Wiltjer still shoots it as well as anybody, but also backed up talk of his improved strength and quickness. Many of his baskets came on assists from Ryan Harrow - the player Coach Cal wants to be the Steve Nash to his Dirk Nowitzki. Harrow scored 18, while Wiltjer led all scorers with 19 points.

3. On-court video show


I'm going to keep this short, because I'm not sure there's any way to properly describe the introduction video shown on the Rupp floor. Workers spread out two giant white sheets over the entire playing surface, then this happened.


2. Mitchell tops himself once more


It's a familiar script. Fans head to Big Blue Madness wondering how Matthew Mitchell would beat his Michael Jackson imitation of 2011 and his Dougie of 2010. He turned to "Hammer Time" to make it happen.

Backed up by members of the UK dance team and decked out in parachute pants and a sparkly silver jacket, Mitchell danced to MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This" and "2 Legit 2 Quit." Here's what it looked like.


1. Re-raising banners


When Coach Cal was introduced, he talked of building a players-first program that would eventually led to more banners being raised in the Rupp rafters. On Friday night, those two things intersected.

Members of the seven teams that won national championships at UK before 2012 joined Calipari in re-raising the eight title banners in Rupp Arena. Wah Wah Jones (1948, 1949) Cliff Hagan (1951); Vernon Hatton and Adrian "Odie" Smith (1978); head coach Joe B. Hall, Kyle Macy and Jack "Goose" Givens (1978); Derek Anderson and Ron Mercer (1996); and Jeff Sheppard (1998) all stepped to midcourt as a giant white rope dropped from the ceiling. Pulling the rope, Coach Cal and the 11 UK legends lifted the eight banners back to where they belong.

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