The first known basketball game between two college teams took place on February 9, 1895, when Hamline University played against Minnesota University, which was then called Minnesota A & M. Hamline lost that game with a 9-3 final score. It wasn’t easy shooting hoops and making points during those early days of the game because teams then can field 9 players each on the hardcourt. It wasn’t also fun watching so many players going after the ball all at the same time on such a small playing space.
Over a century since that first college basketball match, new rules for play were developed and executed to make the game more exciting to watch. Now, college basketball is truly one of the most popular of the spectator sports. But not all spectators go to these college basketball matches just for the games. Many are diehard fans who also want to participate with the players in re-living some well-loved decades-old school traditions. Here are some of these traditions:
- Indiana University’s under 8-minutes time-outs. With under eight minutes left in the second half, at the first timeout called, the school’s band will play the “William Tell Overture” as cheerleaders race from out of the tunnel to the court waving 18 flags, spelling out INDIANA HOOSIERS. As the “Overture” comes to a close, the music transitions into the “Indiana Fight Song” which ends just in time for the timeout horn to blow as the Indiana fans shouts “I-U” in unison.
- Duke University’s “Cameron Crazies.” The university’s Cameron Indoor Stadium is host to a 1,200-seat student section reserved for the notorious Blue Devils fans who came to be better known to others as the “Crazies” because of their outrageous outfits, loud and intimidating chants, and their use of prank gimmickry during games. For instance, they like to shout “sit down” in unison every time an opposing player fouls out.
- Taylor University’s “Silent Night” gimmick. Taylor University students come to games dressed in pajamas and Christmas costumes. They will sit in complete silence from the start of the game until their team scores their tenth point. Then they erupt spontaneously into chaos. There will be pandemonium ats the stadium until order can be restored by the game officials. In the event that Taylor reaches the 100- point score in the game, the whole process begins again. To cap it off, as the game comes to a close, the students will join together in singing “Silent Night.”
- University of Tennessey’s “Rocky Top” anthem. The university’s students and their marching band have made “Rocky Top,” a fast-paced country song written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant and popularized by The Osborne Bros, as their unofficial battle hymn. Fans in the stadium often find themselves also singing and dancing along with the students during the rendition of these very catchy song.
- Kansas University’s “Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk” chant. For over a century now, students and fans of Kansas University teams have been chanting “Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk” to spur their players to stage a rally.
- St. Joseph’s University tireless mascot. The Hawk, the school’s mascot since the 1950s, flaps his or her wings for the duration of every game. He or she is not allowed to stop flapping in keeping with the school’s motto, “The Hawk will never die.” In return, the school gives the student who signs up to put on the mascot costume full scholarship priveleges.
- Florida University’s “Gator Chomp.” For several decades now, Florida fans have been seen mimicking the chomping of a gator’s mouth with their hands whenever they want to spur their team to action, usually in sync with the marching band’s theme from “Jaws” rendition.
- Wake Forest University’s toilet paper tradition. Wake students and fans cover their entire team in toilet paper after every winning game in basketball, as well as football.
- John Brown University’s toilet paper tradition. John Brown students don’t mind giving up an extra free throw for the opposing team as long as they get to keep their tradition. After the first basket their team makes for the year, they will go into frenzy and throw toilet paper around until the entire court is fully covered in white.
- Utah State’s “I Believe That We Will Win” chant. At the start of each game, Utah State’s students and fans begin their “I believe that we will win” chant, increasingly getting louder until their collective voices fill the entire arena.