Missouri basketball set to host Mizzou Madness on Homecoming Saturday.

The event hosted by the men’s and women’s teams will consist of scrimmages, a 3-point contest and a dunk contest.

Sophomore guard Sophie Cunningham, 3, looks to the basket as she makes the winning shot. Cunningham had 26 points against South Carolina on February 20 2017, including the winning basket. Maneater File Photo

High-flying dunks. A 3-point contest. And to top it off, an opportunity to build camaraderie between the teams and excitement for the fans.

That’s what in store for Saturday’s Mizzou Madness pep rally, a basketball exhibition that will feature scrimmages and contests between the Missouri men’s and women’s teams.

Scheduled to take place as part of Missouri’s Homecoming festivities, the event will begin at Mizzou Arena one hour after the conclusion of Missouri’s football game against Idaho, which kicks off at 11 a.m. at Memorial Stadium.

Missouri men’s basketball made headlines this past offseason with the hiring of coach Cuonzo Martin and a nationally-heralded recruiting class that was ranked the fourth-best in the nation and includes two five-star recruits.

Missouri women’s basketball is coming off another successful season under head coach Robin Pingeton. The Tigers rose to prominence in 2017 with their defeat of eventual National Champion South Carolina in February and a victory in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. Led by junior guard Sophie Cunningham, the Tigers looked poised to be even better this year.

Both the men's and women's teams will hold scrimmages during the event, which will also feature a dunk contest for the men's team and 3-point contests for both teams.

In 2016, Missouri hosted a similar event called Halloween and Hoops, in which the men’s team played an intrasquad scrimmage. Pingeton cancelled the women’s scrimmage due to injury concerns at the time.

That night, Jordan Barnett won the dunk contest with an emphatic dunk over Missouri’s mascot, Truman the Tiger. Similar excitement can certainly be expected in Saturday’s event with the new influx of athleticism on the men’s side.

The 2016 event also had its share of theatrics, most notably when former head coach Kim Anderson rose from a coffin, attempting to defy the notion that many had “buried” Missouri. The stunt would wind up being more symbolic of Anderson’s future job status with the team.

Now ahead of the 2017 season, the attitude surrounding both programs has completely flipped, and the excitement about the two teams will be on full display Saturday afternoon.

After Saturday’s event, the two teams will each play exhibition games before the start of the regular season. The women’s team plays against Southwest Baptist on Nov. 2 and McKendree on Nov. 6, followed by its regular-season opener Nov. 10 in the Hawkeye Challenge in Iowa City, Iowa, against Western Kentucky.

The men’s team will travel to Kansas City on Sunday to rekindle its rivalry with Kansas in the “Showdown for Relief” at the Sprint Center. The team will then begin regular season play Nov. 10 at home against Iowa State.

Edited by Eli Lederman | elederman@themaneater.com

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