EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State's basketball team drew so many fans to Midnight Madness that some of them had to settle for seats without much of a view for part of the show.The Breslin Center has 14,759 seats and each seemed to be filled with fired-up fans, some of whom had an obstructed view because of a video screen that was set up behind a baseline.
"My whole dream was to someday fill this place," Izzo said Friday night, standing on a stage with his team. "And, we've got an overflow crowd."
Izzo looked as if he was dressed for a practice, wearing a green pullover and athletic pants. In the past, he has gotten into costumes for the event and dressed up as characters such as Dracula or has done a stunt such as repelling from the rafters.
"For 22 years, most of the time I'm doing something insane," he said.
This time, Izzo let his players become the feature during a high-flying scrimmage that all in attendance could see because the screen was lowered. Bridges made the first shot in a spirted scrimmage on a dunk.
The Hall of Fame coach repeated a message Bridges delivered last spring when he made a relatively stunning decision to return for his sophomore season instead of being a top pick in the NBA draft.
"It's not about me," Izzo said. "It's about us."
Bridges will lead a team with eight of their top 10 scorers back from last season plus highly touted freshman Jaren Jackson, a 6-foot-11 forward. The deep and talented team may give Izzo a great shot to win a second national championship.
"We're going to try our hardest to live up to the expectations that everybody has and that's to put another banner up in the sky," he said.