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Midnight Madness

Feb 9, 2013, 6:38 AM EDT

For some, Saturday just couldn’t come soon enough. Dozens of Notre Dame students gathered in the North dome of the JACC late Friday night awaiting ESPN’s College GameDay the following morning. The goal was simple – hang out with friends prior to the Irish’s primetime matchup against No. 11 Louisville while spending the night indoors in order to secure a first row seat behind the GameDay broadcast that includes Notre Dame’s own Digger Phelps.

The Leprechaun Legion organized and planned the event which included plenty of games, prizes, sign making, movies, and free food. ND students first participated in a few classic games of Knockout followed by a three-on-three tournament where winners received gift cards to the Notre Dame Varsity Shop. Legion president, junior Matt Cunningham, said he hoped the event would get students excited for the game against the Cardinals.

“We’ve got movies going – Space Jam, Hoosiers, Glory Road,” explained Cunningham. “There’s also raffles for a chance to win an Xbox 360, football tickets, and more. It’s something else to do on a Friday night on campus instead of sitting around in your dorm.”

As for the actual game, the Leprechaun Legion hopes to build energy within Purcell Pavilion in what figures to be Notre Dame’s biggest home game of the season.

“When you look at the Syracuse game last year, the fans really responded. I think there’s the same kind of excitement for this game, being in primetime on ESPN,” said Cunningham. “It’s a unique experience and something that doesn’t come around all that often.”

It’s safe to say this is a game Notre Dame desperately wants to win. The student body is ready to help set the tone early – even if that means sleeping on a basketball court the night before.

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Welcome to In The Paint, the official blog providing in-depth and exclusive access to the Notre Dame basketball programs. With features, videos, photos, commentaries and news from inside the Purcell Pavilion, we are committed to bringing you coverage of the Fighting Irish unlike any you can find elsewhere.

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