Basketball Mania (formerly known as Midnight Mania) is the annual kick-off event for the basketball season held in Levien Gym, featuring performances by student groups and clubs, prize give-aways, contests, and culminating with the introduction of the men's and women's basketball teams.
Initiated in the Fall of 2003 by Men's Basketball head coach Joe Jones, the event was first held in University Gym (the "Blue Gym"), but thanks to skyrocketing popularity, soon outgrew the venue and is now held in the larger Levien Gym, where both the Basketball and Volleyball teams play.
Cancellation and Rebirth
Despite its success in drawing students together for the kick-off of the season, the Athletics Department cancelled Midnight Mania in 2008, arguing that the event did not have any appreciable effect on increasing attendance at games. In its place the department initiated a Student Rewards Program in the hopes of increasing attendance with more giveaways.
In 2009 the four student councils worked in collaboration with the Athletics Department to bring back the event, newly dubbed Basketball Mania.
Midnight Madness at other schools
Traditionally, "Midnight Madness" events are held to celebrate the first possible moment of the season to hold an official practice under NCAA rules. The event doubles as a pep rally for the respective program. At Columbia the event instead is held the night before the first game of the season, and was never held at midnight, making it more of a traditional pep rally.
- Midnight Mania Cancelled, CCSC Ponders Replacement, Columbia Spectator, 9 September 2008
- Mourning the End of a Good Tradition, Columbia Spectator, 9 September 2008
- Basketball Mania Successfully Returns to Levien Gym, Columbia Athletics, 16 November 2009