6:38 p.m. - We're live at the Night of the Grateful Red. I'm sitting courtside right now for the official tip-off of the 2008-09 men's basketball season. Fans are starting to file into the Kohl Center right now and there is excitement in the air.
6:40 p.m. - The players are on the floor warming up right now and every fan has a rolled up team poster in his/her hand. They are handing out the official team posters upon entry... this year's theme... "Under the Radar."
6:47 p.m. - If you don't have a chance to be here tonight, you can catch all the action on the Big Ten Network's Basketball Tip-Off Show tonight at 8:00 p.m. cst. The Big Ten Network will be featuring live "look-ins" at Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan State, Indiana and Purdue as they preview the 2008-09 men's basketball season.
6:50 p.m. - As more and more fans pour into the Kohl Center, the team leaves the court to dress for their entrance.
7:05 p.m. - Bucky is on the court and is ready and waiting for the players to make their way down. The cheerleaders and poms are also on the court patiently waiting for the team. The crowd grows quieter in anticipation for the madness that is soon to begin. The lights go down and the crowd roars as the Night of the Grateful Red begins...
7:07 p.m. - The night begins with the basketball athletic staff introductions. They are walking down in through the crowd in sections 108 and 107. They are even introducing the unimportant staff like Matt Ryan. Just kidding Matty.
7:10 p.m. - Here comes the team. The first player introduced is freshman Ryan Evans. Jordan Taylor comes down to Tom Jones' "It's Not Unusual." He even does the Carlton Banks as part of his dance. Classic! The coaches and their kids are sitting on the court judging the players dances and giving them encouraging scores.
7:14 p.m. - Wquinton Smith breaks it down to a little "You're The One I Love" from Dirty Dancing. Smith is known on the team as one of the best dancers... personally, he didn't really live up to the title tonight.
7:17 p.m. - The highest score of the night so far goes to Jon Leuer who broke it down with a little "Pop Lock and Drop It," earning two nine's and a perfect 10 from the judges.
7:19 p.m. - Keaton Nankivil quickly topped the high score earning three perfect 10's across the scorer's board with some of Will Smith's "Gettin' Jiggy Wit' It."
7:20 p.m. - J-Bo really broke the floor tonight, literally. He might have been by far the worst dancer thus far. No worries, though. He definitely got a solid laugh out of the crowd. Nice work, J-Bo!
7:24 p.m. - Senior Marcus Landry slowed things down a bit even trying to entice the judges with his sweet moves. I am not sure they were having any of it. However, the crowd definitely appreciated it.
7:25 p.m. - Last but not least for the players, Joe Krabbenhoft comes down wearing a cowboy hat and line dances to Kenny Chesney's "She Thinks My Tractor is Sexy." Here comes coach Ryan. The lights go back up and Coach stands at center court with the microphone to start bashing his team's terrible dance moves.
7:31 p.m. - Coach Ryan introduces his Old School vs. New School dance off with senior Marcus Landry. The two had their dance off at the Memorial Union a few days prior to risk injury to either performer in front of the crowd. I think coach might have just been a bit worried about his ego as the crowd is loving Marcus' "New School" dance moves quite a bit more than Bo's "Old School" moves.
7:33 p.m. - Bo now has his whole team on the court Cha-Cha-ing to "Under the Boardwalk." He is encouraging his team to "loosen up." He's clearly loose as he's even signing to the song while dancing. Can anyone say YouTube? The crowd now has the opportunity to text their best dancer choice (Marcus or coach Ryan) to decide who will win the dance off.
7:40 p.m. - We are now beginning the 3-point shooting contest. Seven Badgers have been paired up with lucky fans from the crowd to win prizes for the fans. 1:00 on the clock, five racks of balls, five balls per rack, fifth ball of each rack in the "money" ball and counts for two points. J-Bo starts the contest off by racking up 14 points. Hughes is up next.
7:44 p.m. - Trevon ties J-Bo with 14 points. Tim Jarmusz steps up next to try and take the lead. He finishes just one short, with 13 points.
7:46 p.m. - Jon Leuer finishes below the rest with eight points. Joe Krabbenhoft is now on the line draining most of his 3-point shots. He finishes in the lead with 15 points making his "money ball" shot at the buzzer. The crowd goes wild!
7:49 p.m. - Jordan Taylor steps up next and finishes with 12 points. Brett Valentyn is the final player to shoot. He is trying to notch Krabbenhoft's 15 points. Can he do it...?! He is at 7, now 8.. Makes his money ball and gets to 10... Buzzer. Brett finishes with 10 points making the champion of the 3-point shooting contest Joe Krabbenhoft.
7:51 p.m. - A lucky UW student has the opportunity to win a 4-pack of tickets to an away Badger basketball game with luxury transportation to and from the game. He misses. The fans still cheer and the announcer agrees to give him another try. He comes back to half court to attempt the shot again. Unfortunately, he misses again. Out comes the dance team to perform, finally giving the players a little break.
7:56 p.m. - Three members of tonight's audience have been selected to try and duplicate Michael Flowers' 3-point game-winning shot against Texas last season. All three contestants made valiant efforts and replicating the shot, however, none were success. Moving on the dunk contest...
8:02 p.m. - Morris Cain slams one down and the judges feel it is worth 26 points. Next up, Ryan Evans. He comes away topping Cain with 27 points. Senior Marcus Landry steps up for his dunks. Unfortunately, the judges were a little harsh with their judging leaving Landry with 25 points.
8:04 p.m - Last but not least, the shortest guy in the competition (6-foot-4) Rob Wilson comes out to show his stuff. After a few failed tossing attempts he finally finishes his dunk with 26 points tying Morris Cain for second place. Ryan Evans with 27 points, Morris Cain and Rob Wilson, both with 26 points, will all be moving on to the final round.
8:09 p.m. - Starting off the final round for the dunk contest, Ryan Evans walks away with 28 points. Senior Morris Cain is up and gives up after not being able to put the ball through the hoop. Ryan Evans comes back out for an encore shot and attempts an between-the-legs dunk. He completes the impressive dunk and the crowd goes crazy for it. Not bad for a freshman!
8:13 p.m. - Coach Ryan takes the mic to address the audience. He introduces Andy North and thanks him for graciously donating the new floor at the Kohl Center. They now announce the raffle winner of a pair of men's basketball season tickets. The winner eagerly walks down to claim his prize.
8:16 p.m. - Just heard the attendance for tonight's event is over 2,500. Good turnout of folks excited for the season.
8:17 p.m. - This concludes the Night of the Grateful Red. Fans can now make their way to the concourse for an autograph session with players and coaches. Don't forget to watch the Big Ten Network which will include interviews with Landry, J-Bo, Trevon, Joe Krabbenhoft, Keaton and coach Ryan.
8:23 p.m. - If you were not able to preview the team at the Night of the Grateful Red, there is another free opportunity on Wednesday, Oct. 29. The FREE event will begin at 7:00 p.m. Goodbye from the Night of the Grateful Red.