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Basketball Jams: Hard in the Paint, Hard in the Booth

| Wednesday, March 1, 2017

basketball_webJoseph Han

In the absence of a stellar — or even, let’s be honest, average — football season this past year, many students have turned to the men’s basketball team for comfort. Here we have a sport where the close games are only fought against respectable teams, the easier games are a straight up blast and the coach is downright cool.

Ultimately, the uptick in the basketball team’s popularity — brought on by the demand for a team that has a chance against Duke and can display consistency at the NCAA Tournament — has led to two main results. First of all, I can’t get basketball tickets easily anymore. Second, I’ve realized that the DJ for the basketball games actually knows what he’s doing. No embarrassing dad tracks here: This DJ plays nothing but jams. Without further introduction, here’s the best of what Notre Dame basketball music has given this season:

  1. “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1” – Kanye West

Introducing Mike Brey and the boys to the court with a sleeper hit from one of the biggest and best albums of 2016 is more than enough proof that the basketball team may be the coolest program in the ACC. Right after the video montage and the crazy lights show brought to us by the WatchND app, the crowd always goes wild once the first synth line drops from this “The Life of Pablo” track.  While this song may never hit the signature Future sample about Metro Boomin’s trust, the basketball DJ regularly gives us more than enough Kanye to make up for that, shuffling in “Fade,” “Part 2” and even older hits like “Flashing Lights” in just about every game.

  1. The “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” Theme – Will Smith

Lost somewhere deep in the basketball DJ’s pregame EDM/hip-hop turn-up mix is this classic. The theme song has broken free of the pop culture barriers surrounding the original show, taking up a life of its own at this point. Almost everyone in the student section can rap every lyric whether over a trap beat or the track’s original instrumental. Despite Will Smith’s status as a dad, this song gets a pass and avoids the tumultuous fall into dad territory because the sitcom sits firmly within our collective nostalgia. Plus, Will Smith is a cool dad — minus that whole “Suicide Squad” thing.

  1. “Sandstorm” – Darude

Okay, so maybe the song selection in Notre Dame Stadium isn’t entirely terrible. This frequent third quarter track has successfully carried over from fall sports to winter ones, providing a familiar gateway for those who may be unfamiliar with some of the newer tracks the basketball team frequently plays. And all memes aside, “Sandstorm” is a genuinely fun pickup song.

  1. “Broccoli” – D.R.A.M. feat. Lil Yachty

Absurd yet amazing, D.R.A.M.’s biggest hit yet is always welcome in Purcell Pavilion. This ubiquitous track and its creators deserve all the attention they can get. Even though the track surely gets blasted for a number of older basketball fans unfamiliar with the artists’ lyrical references, it boasts more than enough hype to warrant its plays.

  1. “Here Come the Irish”/ “Shipping Up to Boston”

Another carryover from the football season, but this combo packs just as much punch for the 9,142 fans in Purcell Pavilion as it does for the 80,795 people in Notre Dame Stadium. No greater tip-off song duo will ever exist in the history of Notre Dame sports — or perhaps in all of athletics.


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About Jimmy Kemper

Scene writer, Economics major, and Seinfeld enthusiast

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