It all started when ESPN’s College GameDay came to Columbia for the first time in 2010. Columbia was ecstatic and its record number in attendance showed just that. Among this group of attendees was Kim English. He was holding a sign asking when GameDay would be back for Missouri basketball.

MU students and fans wave signs to create a backdrop for ESPN announcers on the court. Photograph by Nick Agro

Now, two years later, GameDay has returned to Columbia to do just that—cover MU basketball. Although GameDay has been to Columbia before, the fanbase seemed to react to their arrival as if it were the first time. One MU student even began camping outside of Mizzou Arena on Wednesday at 9 a.m., which was 71 hours before tipoff. Although this seems crazy, this student was not alone. By Friday night there were approximately 30 tents pitched outside of the arena.

Once eager GameDay participants entered Mizzou Arena, they found the basketball courts had been turned into a live studio. The ESPN crew started the show with an interview with head coach Frank Haith. Fans showed their appreciation and love for Haith during this interview by chanting “Faith in Haith.”

After the interview with Haith, ESPN’s four-man crew had to make a prediction for the game. In the end, their prediction was MU to win. As we all know now, they were correct, but it was a nail bitter to say the least.

The two-hour show contained quirky interviews with players, a half-court challenge, among other things.

The fan turnout was incredible, and the energy would be hard to duplicate.

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