[VIDEO] Mason Madness opens the college basketball season in style

Men's basketball coach Paul Hewitt dresses as the Patriot mascot for Mason Madness. (Photo by Dakota Cunningham)
Men's basketball coach Paul Hewitt dresses as the Patriot mascot for Mason Madness. (Photo by Dakota Cunningham)

The start of a new season welcomes in the hope and anticipation of success. On Friday night the entire college basketball world opened the door to the 2012-2013 season around the country. At the Patriot Center at George Mason University, the men's and women's basketball teams ushered in the next chapter of the Mason basketball story at the annual Mason Madness event.  

In front of one of the largest Mason Madness crowds to date, Mason Nation was treated to an array of entertainment from the Masonettes dance team and the Green Machine pep band to the Mason cheerleaders and UrbanKnowlogy 101 dance troupe. The Internet viral video "Gangnam Style" was a theme of this year's Madness with both Masonettes and Urbanknowlogy providing their own renditions of the dance.

Both men's and women's rosters were announced and women's coach Jeri Porter and men's coach Paul Hewitt addressed the Mason faithful.

To cap off his first season as the men's coach, Hewitt donned a zoot suit that even Doc Nix could be proud of, bejeweled and all. At his second Mason Madness, he needed to top last year's display---and he very well may have.

Upon his announcement, Hewitt was nowhere to be seen. The Patriot mascot walked out onto the hardwood, curious as the rest of the Mason Nation was about the whereabouts about their coach. An identical Patriot mascot took the court, removing his head to reveal the Mason coach, stunning the Patriot Center crowd.

President Angel Cabrera and former president Alan Merten were both in attendance, gracing both programs with their support. Students also had some positive opinions about the night.

"I always look forward to Mason Madness," said senior and Patriot Platoon member Andrew Gallant. "There's so much energy and excitement. Getting to see the new players and the Green Machine just excites me so much for the college basketball season."

Gallant has been a member of the Patriot Platoon all of his years at Mason and in his final Mason Madness as a student, the senior mentioned the bitter sweetness of the night's festivities.

"It's bittersweet being a senior but I know we have a full season ahead to enjoy," said Gallant.

The men's team will host Bowie State University in an exhibition on Thursday Oct. 25 and the women's team will host Davis & Elkins College in an exhibition on Friday Nov. 2.

Check out our video of the highlights of the night below: 


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