The Norman Transcript

Sports

February 19, 2014

Moody Madness finally hits SMU

DALLAS — Long before SMU was pulling off upset victories at home before sellout crowds, Moody Madness had a much different meaning.

These days, the term finally applies to the home-team Mustangs.

“Everywhere I’ve been, I’ve been lucky enough to be places where the crowd actually has mattered and made us play better than we know how,” SMU coach Larry Brown said. “I know it affects teams, especially young kids coming in here, with an environment like this.”

Three decades after an unusual Dallas Mavericks’ playoff game on the SMU campus spawned Moody Madness, the Mustangs are undefeated at home this season. SMU has won all seven games since moving back into the renovated Moody Coliseum last month, three of those convincingly over Top 25 teams after going 10 years without a victory anywhere against a ranked team.

“We’re all happy with the way the team has performed and the way the students and the fans have created an unbelievable atmosphere in Moody, the way the building turned out,” athletic director Rick Hart said.

The Mustangs (20-6, 9-4 American Athletic Conference), trying to get to their first NCAA tournament since 1993, are back home Wednesday night to play Houston (12-13, 4-8).

SMU beat then-No. 7 Cincinnati 76-55 in its last home game Feb. 8, and students rushed to court to celebrate the upset that ended the Bearcats’ 15-game winning streak. That, along with earlier home wins against UConn (74-65) and Memphis (87-72), propelled the Mustangs to their first Top 25 ranking since 1985.

There have been sellout crowds for four games already and every ticket for the remaining three have already been sold.

The seven sellouts will be a single-season school record.

“It’s awesome to see where they’ve been and to see the interest level and the new arena kind of bringing college basketball excitement back to the Metroplex,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “I think it’s really cool.”

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