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  • Writer's picturefreddiehodges22

A Look Back at Countdown to Craziness Over the Years

The second season of the Jon Scheyer era of Duke Basketball starts at the 2023 Countdown to Craziness on October 20th. Here is a look back at some of the highlights of C2C over the years. This isn’t your normal basketball scrimmage. As it’s grown, the event has included some fascinating introductions of the team. Countdown to Craziness is Duke’s event for a midnight madness. Midnight Madness started several years ago in 1971 when then-Maryland coach Lefty Driesell (a former Duke basketball player) invited fans out to a team run. Kentucky upped the ante in 1982 when the Wildcats started their own midnight madness event and included entertainment acts. Over the years, other colleges started their own midnight madness events. ESPN has realized the popularity of these events and in the past has even had a show where its commentators are at select campuses, discussing the upcoming college basketball season and showing video footage of the midnight madness event. Duke Basketball will have its 14th annual Countdown to Craziness on Friday, October 20th.

Events at Countdown to Craziness from past years include skits, fan contests, player introductions, introduction of the Duke Basketball team poster, the blue/white team scrimmage and a dunk contest. Countdown to Craziness is the ultimate fan experience. Over the years of going to CTC, I have met several Duke fans who have become good friends of mine. I have been to every CTC since its start in 2009, as well as the 2008 Blue-White Scrimmage. The following is a recap of some of my and other fans favorite highlights and experiences over the years of attending CTC.

2008 - Duke Basketball and Duke Football come together In 2008, Duke had a Blue-White Scrimmage. Fans got a first look at the 2008-2009 Duke basketball team as the teams played two 15 minute scrimmages. Both teams started the scrimmage with a score tied 45-45. The White team, led by Gerald Henderson, Kyle Singler, and Jon Scheyer, won the first scrimmage by a score of 97-74. A highlight for me was when the Duke Blue Devils football team did their traditional Blue Devil Walk in Cameron Indoor Stadium under first year head coach David Cutcliffe. This happened during a break in the first scrimmage. The football players and coaches shook hands with the basketball players and Coach K, which was a cool sight to see. Many years later, we’ve all had the opportunity to witness how coach David Cutcliffe turned the football team around, having the program competing in the ACC Coastal division and winning bowl games during his time as the coach of Duke football.

In the second scrimmage, the Blue team, led by Nolan Smith, won by a score of 79-70 over the White team.

2009 - The start of the CTC experience 2009 marked the start of Countdown to Craziness. Duke added on to the Blue and White scrimmage by introducing events such as live music, games and face painting in Krzyzewskiville before Cameron opened its doors. Inside Cameron, fans got to see events such as videos, contests and performances. The 2009-2010 Duke Basketball poster was also revealed to fans inside the stadium. The dunk contest was also a fan favorite as well. I left the first CTC that year feeling like I was the “6th man” as fans, players, and coaches all came together to experience a great event. 2010 – A Banner Year!

Photo via Duke Basketball The highlight I will always remember from 2010 was the unveiling of the 4th national championship banner for Duke Basketball in Cameron Indoor Stadium. To see this in person was an amazing experience. Another highlight for me was the dunk contest this year. I was able to capture this dunk by Kyrie Irving in the dunk contest that almost had judge Jason Williams fall out of his seat. With over 461,000 views, my guess is many Blue Devils, Cavaliers, Celtics, Nets, and Mavericks fans have enjoyed this dunk over the years.

2011 – Introducing the Theatrical Stunts

2011 was another fun CTC. The highlight for me was when Duke had a Nike “Duke Basketball Never Stops” banner and started at mid court with people running in every direction spreading the banner over the entire length of the court. To be in the stands and see this happen is still one of the top events for me. I even bought a canvas wrap of this picture that hangs in my home.

2012 – The Curtain Drops

The 2012 highlight for me was when Duke had a huge white curtain that hung from the top of Cameron all the way to the floor. The curtain displayed player images and other Duke Basketball images. At the end of the introductions, the curtain dropped and the players came out from under the curtain.

2013 – Coach K Court Video Display

The highlight for me from 2013 was when Duke used Coach K court to display a video of player introductions. I left the event in amazement of how they used the court in this unique way.

2014 – The Team Shocks the Fans

2014 was another awesome experience. Once again, Duke used Coach K court to display video footage. At the beginning, the Duke Basketball players were all located at the upper level entrances in Cameron Indoor Stadium, which took fans by surprise. The video footage on the court was again exciting to see, especially the four national championship banners.

2015 - DE5TINY

As expected, the 2015 CTC was a memorable one. The main highlight was when Duke Basketball hung its 5th national championship banner in the rafters of Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Duke continued to use the Coach K court to display player intros and the team poster.

2016 - Coach K Court video display taken to another level

How could Duke Basketball possibly improve on what has been an awesome CTC intro with the court video graphics display? Well… make the fans a part of the experience. Before CTC started, fans were given Blue Devil horns that would light up in the dark. When the lights went out in Cameron and the intros started, Cameron Indoor Stadium was lit up like never before. Another highlight that many fans remember was Chase Jeter’s bottle flip intro. Chase Jeter pulled off the bottle flip trick in his intro as the players and fans in Cameron went crazy. 2017 - Everytime We Touch

Duke Basketball once again handed out Blue Devil horns to the fans before CTC. The lights went out and Cameron Indoor was lit up again in a cool display. The highlight for me and many fans was Grayson Allen’s intro. A senior Grayson Allen came out to the song often heard in Cameron Indoor Stadium “Everytime We Touch”. Everybody in Cameron went crazy as Allen had the fans excited for another season. 2018 - 4-Sided Jumbo Screen & the Zion Effect

In 2018, one of the highlights was when Duke Basketball had a 4 sided jumbo curtain (somewhat like 2012) at center court they used for displaying images of players, coaches and Duke Basketball. Another highlight for many would be the Zion effect. Zion Williamson helped the white team defeat the blue team as he finished going 7-11 from the field in which 5 of his shots were highlight reel dunks. This was fans first look in what was an exciting season filled with “Zion testing the limits of gravity” dunks.

2019 - We are the Brotherhood

In 2019, Duke basketball brought back the 4 sided jumbo curtain. The Brotherhood logo was first displayed on the curtain following former players making statements like “You do not have to like us”, “You don’t have to understand us”, “But you can’t stop us”, “Once a Blue Devil always a Blue Devil”, “We are champions”, along with famous plays in Duke Basketball history also being displayed on the curtain. It then showed Coach K on the curtain stating “We are the Brotherhood”. Next, images of the 2019 team was displayed on the curtain with Coach K at the end saying “Here comes Duke”. The Brotherhood effect took the curtain display to a whole new level. Another moment from this night Duke fans will always remember is when Tre Jones brought his mother, Debbie, out on the court with him during his introduction. Debbie Jones had battled cancer earlier in the year and had beat it.

2021 - Coach K’s Last Ride

Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s last season (The Last Ride) kicked off with the annual Countdown to Craziness event on 10/15/21. This was Coach K's last season at the helm as the head coach of Duke men's basketball. The hype was through the roof for this C2C not only because it was Coach K's last season but it had been over a year and counting since fans were in attendance at Cameron Indoor Stadium. What I remember most from this C2C was the excitement of fans finally being back in Cameron Indoor Stadium. I caught some of that energy and excitement in this video below when Duke cranked up the song "Everytime We Touch.

Duke once again used the 4 sided jumbo curtain. They displayed a lot of memorable moments in Coach K's coaching career at Duke on the jumbo curtain.

2022 - Jon Scheyer Takes Over As Duke Basketball Head Coach

What I will remember most from last years Countdown to Craziness was Jon Scheyer building the connection with the Duke fan base to start off the season.

They used the drop down curtain again to display graphics with images of famous plays, Coach K, Jon Scheyer, the Blue Devil and current players.

The Cameron Crazies cheered as Jon Scheyer was being introduced as head coach.

Another moment Duke fans won't forget was when Stanley Borden stole the show with his introduction when he walked up on stage wearing a trench coat and then opened up his coat pulled out a saxophone and played his own intro song - the solo from George Michael's "Careless Whisper".

Jon Scheyer closed out the night at Countdown to Craziness speaking to the Crazies and fans in attendance. Scheyer stated to those in attendance "were in this together."

2023 CTC ?

What will the 2023 Countdown to Craziness have in store for Duke fans with the second season of head coach Jon Scheyer leading the Blue Devils? Will we have a dunk contest again? What will the epic intro look like this year? Your guess is as good as mine. I do know fans and the Cameron Crazies will have Cameron Indoor Stadium rocking once again. These are just a few of many highlights and memories fans have experienced at CTC since it first started in 2009. What is your favorite highlight/memory from CTC? Comment below and let us know.

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