Oct. 24, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - In little more than a decade it has grown into one of the signature events of its kind.
On Friday night Hoops Mania 2013 etched its own place in the lineup of memorable events, highlighted by a version of American Idol that featured a dance competition won by a trio of Villanova freshmen: Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins and Darryl Reynolds and an appearance by recording artist Nicki Minaj.
The night also featured a dunk by James Bell in the scrimmage that was the first basket of the 2013-14 basketball season and, as such, was followed by an array of streamers tossed down from the stands in a nod to the old Palestra tradition of years gone by.
For the first time in its history, scenes from "Hoops Mania" were beamed to a national television audience as part of Fox Sports 1's "Tip-off Party", a show that featured clips from all 10 events staged across the BIG EAST Conference.
Sophomore Daniel Ochefu won the dunk contest, which set the stage for the musical performance by Nicki Minaj.
Friday's event kicked off Villanova's 2013 Homecoming Weekend. Basketball will be on tap again on Saturday day afternoon at approximately 4:30 p.m. when the men's team takes the court in the Pavilion again, this time for the Blue/White scrimmage. Admission is free and this scrimmage will aim to re-create regular season game conditions. Tip-off will take place approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the Villanova football game in Villanova Stadium.