Next weekend, the University will have its homecoming festivities. If you're like me and avoid Oakland for the most part since graduation, it's a good way to get back and enjoy the campus.
Friday night is the 'main' night for attractions and Pitt will host a pretty cool event that night called Spike and Slam Madness. At 7:00 p.m., the volleyball team will face No. 4 ranked Florida State. Afterwards, the basketball teams will host their version of Midnight Madness at the Field House.
This isn't the same as participating in a true Midnight Madness with ESPN TV crews, etc., but it's a great idea. I was critical of the school doing a Morning Madness last year before the Saturday football game. It was off campus and the morning afterwards when practically everyone else is doing something the previous night. This should provide a great atmosphere.
And having the event at the Field House will be awesome. It's smaller than the Pete and more intimate. I haven't been there since I was a student watching basketball games since the team moved to the Pete after that. Should be a lot of fun and I'm guessing the crowd will be a big one for the basketball portion.
In addition, getting the volleyball team involved is a great move as well. At 16-2, that's a program that deserves a lot more recognition right now. And with them having a big time opponent like Florida State, that will hopefully create even more interest.
Unfortunately, it's not a perfect set up for Pitt. The volleyball match comes right in the middle of the Cathedral reception where the bulk of the alumni will circulate. You've pretty much got to choose one or the other and I'm not sure how much of a crowd the Florida State match will garner.
That said, the Midnight Madness event as a whole is a smart idea and an upgrade over last year's event.