Julian Routh | Asst. News Editor
Even though its games are played in front of a much smaller audience and its bracket holds little weight in the minds of Vegas odds makers, the annual Power Madness 5-on-5 basketball tournament in the Power Center is not too much unlike the NCAA tournament.
The stakes are still high, as well as the passion of its participants. It’s “win or go home,” and for the 69 teams that signed up to compete in the tournament, the competition is as real as it gets.
As the NCAA tournament enters its Final Four, Power Madness has narrowed its field to four teams as well, all of which will play today. The championship will be played next Tuesday, and the winner will have its team name and participants’ names placed on a banner and displayed around the Power Center running track.
Featuring teams from the men’s, women’s, co-ed, freshmen and Greek divisions, the tournament “adds an extra level of competitiveness,” coordinator of intramurals Jason Brailey said. According to Brailey, other schools have 3-on-3 and other smaller scale tournaments, but none have the 5-on-5 bracket-style tournament like Duquesne.
The tournament began in 2009, and since then, four championship banners have been hung on the Center’s walls. Brailey said that the prize, along with the level of competition, makes the tournament a “pretty extravagant ordeal.”
“Power madness steps it up that extra notch,” Brailey said. “It’s more elite. It’s a big deal to have your name on a banner and then come back to the Power Center in two years for a tour and it is still there.”
To determine the bracket’s seeding, Brailey and the intramural department looked at the results of the entire season, which started the second week of the school year. The 1-seeds were given to the regular season division champions and the 2-seeds to the runner-ups.
In addition to the games themselves, there are skill challenges throughout the week of the Final Four for players to participate in, including dribbling, passing and three-point shooting contests. The winners of those in each division will compete on the day of the tournament’s championship. Before the championship on Tuesday, the best players, determined by regular season and tournament statistics, will play in an All-Star Game.
Power Madness’ participants “really get into it,” which adds to the excitement surrounding the event, Brailey said. In addition to making individual banners for each team in the Sweet 16, the intramural department brings in-game announcers from the Duquesne Dukes’ men’s basketball squad and representatives from Duquesne radio to join in the fun by adding play-by-play to the final rounds of games.
Intramural supervisor Regan Harrell can feel the “madness” too.
“I love Power Madness. It’s something different that we do and it makes basketball season more fun,” Harrell said. “I know most of the guys look forward to the tournament more than the regular season.”
As of April 2, the remaining teams in the tournament were Team Wolf (co-ed), Judgement 2.0 (co-ed), Cherry on Top (co-ed), Pippen Ain’t Easy (men’s), Team Webster (men’s), Judgement (men’s), Self Control (men’s) and Laws So Hard (men’s).
Brailey said his goal moving forward is to make sure the tournament “strives and thrives at Duquesne” for years to come.
“It’s been five years, and the tournament has grown in popularity,” Brailey said. “I think it would be great to know that Power Madness would be staying here for 30 or 40 years to come, with banners all the way around the track for students.”