TYLER - Both UT Tyler basketball teams will play their first games of the season over the next few days.

But before the games start to count, the Patriots took a break to have a little fun with their fans.

On Thursday night, the teams held their annual "Patriot Madness" event to celebrate a little before the season kicks off.

Both the men's and women's teams were introduced to the crowd, then there were several skills contests and a few students even had a chance to win some cash.

Men's head coach Jamon Copeland hopes this event gets the fans fired up and ready for the upcoming season.

Coach Copeland says, "We hope the community's support we have tonight carries over to the season and everybody keeps coming out and we gain momentum and keep getting more and more fans to every game."

The UT Tyler women's team kicks off the year on Saturday when they play a scrimmage against St. Edward's. The men's team won't see their first action until Tuesdy when they play an exhibition game at UT Arlington.