CINCINNATI – Blue and white face paint was surely flying off the shelves this week as fans of the Xavier University men's and women's basketball teams prepared for Friday night's tip-off to the Musketeers' first season as members of the Big East conference.
Xavier will host its annual Skyline Chili Musketeer Madness starting at 5:30 p.m. Friday outside the Cintas Center. The free event will move inside at 7 p.m. for some on-court basketball action.
This year will have an added flair as portions of the program will be shown on FOX Sports 1 as part of the network’s Big East Tip-Off Party. The new sports-centric channel will capture the energy and excitement surrounding the start of the 2013-14 college basketball season with coverage from all 10 Big East campuses during from 9 to 11 p.m.
Xavier coach Chris Mack is scheduled to be interviewed during the broadcast.
The Madness gets underway at 5:30 p.m. with a special "Fan Fest on the Plaza" celebration in front of Xavier's on-campus arena. Activities will include inflatable games for kids, corn hole and other games.
Skyline Chili and Trauth Dairy/Dean Foods will serve Cincinnati chili and ice cream, and FOX Sports Ohio will hand out promotional giveaways such as commemorative foam fingers and T-shirts to some of the earliest arriving fans.
The event continues inside Cintas Center at 7 p.m. for introductions of players and coaches for both teams. Afterwards, members of the teams will participate in various skills competitions and an intra-squad scrimmage to conclude the event. The popular dunk contest also returns this year.
Floor seats to the hoops showcase are promised to the first 500 Xavier students to make it to the event.
In addition to the hoop stars, the pep band and cheerleaders will be on hand to help get the fans into mid-season form.
Musketeer Madness also marks the start of Family Weekend at Xavier.