Matador Madness Pumps Up the Excitement for CSUN Hoops Season

  • The Matador Madness frenzy was at a fever pitch. Photo by David Hawkins.

  • A carnival-like atmosphere was prevalent from the outset of Matador Madness. Photo by David Hawkins.

  • Team Malski fired up the crowd before fans entered the Matadome. Photo by David Hawkins.

  • Matty the Matador fired up the crowd before entering The Matadome. Photo by David Hawkins.

  • CSUN students and fans patiently waiting to enter the Matadome. Photo by David Hawkins.

  • After introductions, the women's team got in a few shots. Photo by David Hawkins.

  • Waving the Matador flag. Photo by David Hawkins.

  • Introducing the CSUN Women's Basketball team. Photo by David Hawkins.

  • The CSUN Men's Basketball team huddled after introductions. Photo by David Hawkins.

  • Jasmine Johnson shows off both Big West championship trophies. Photo by David Hawkins.

  • Matty the Matador led the glow stick brigade. Photo by David Hawkins.

  • CSUN Women's Basketball Head Coach Jason Flowers talked about following up on the two-time defending Big West champs. Photo by David Hawkins.

  • Matador Madness dunk.

    Tre Hale-Edmerson goes in for the slam dunk. Photo by David Hawkins.

  • At the end of the festivities, the CSUN Men's and Women's Basketball teams gathered for a photo opp. Photo by David Hawkins.

  • CSUN Men's Basketball Head Coach Reggie Theus high fives his players during Matador Madness. Photo by David Hawkins.

Excitement and energy filled the evening air at California State University, Northridge on Oct. 16 as students and fans took part in Matador Madness, an annual event that signals the start of basketball season.

The free event, which began with a special Fan Fair just outside The Matadome as the sun was setting, provided attendees with fun and entertainment throughout the night.

Free sandwiches, pizza and hot dogs were provided while live music played in the background. Numerous vendors — including Rosie’s BBQ, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt and Mountain Dew — passed out free food and beverages, while Sports Chalet gave out gift cards to the first 500 fans.

While some fans participated in free throw shooting contests, others took pictures with Matty the Matador, who helped pump up the crowd. Fans in attendance had the chance to win free prizes such as a GoPro camera, airline tickets and a CSUN semester parking pass.

“Matador Madness was fun and full of energy,” CSUN senior Alex Griffin said. “There was true CSUN pride flowing through the students and fans, and it’ll be a lasting memory in my college experience.”

Griffin echoed the sentiments of many students, who enjoyed the free food and prizes provided at the event.

As soon as 8 p.m. hit, the doors to The Matadome flew open and fans rushed to take their seats and get their first glimpse of the 2015-16 men’s and women’s basketball teams. Organizers had placed glow sticks on each seat in the gym, where fans waved them during the program.

After both teams were introduced to the packed crowd, women’s head coach Jason Flowers and men’s head coach Reggie Theus addressed the fans.

“The women’s and men’s teams are trying to take it to a whole other level, and we need [the CSUN fans] out here every single game,” Flowers said.

Theus offered similar encouragement to the CSUN faithful.

“We’re going to have an exciting year,” Theus said. “We’re going to play hard, up-tempo basketball and we’re going to get this done.”

The night concluded with a scrimmage for the men’s squad.

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