'Silent Night' Nearly a Holy Night

'Silent Night' Nearly a Holy Night

One night every December, students at tiny Taylor University pack the school's gymnasium and participate in a phenomenon that's completely out of place in modern sports: silence.

The fans in the standing-room-only crowd are as loud as a library for as long as it takes Taylor's basketball team to score 10 points. But once that happens, there's no shushing them. As soon as Taylor hits double digits, the students erupt into bedlam, and they don't stop screaming and dancing until it's time for the post-game Christmas party on campus.

Friday's racket known as "Silent Night"—the game ends with a student singalong of the Christmas carol—is very, very quietly a tradition unlike any other. What began as a lark is now a holiday in its own right at this evangelical Christian school about two hours and a world of college sports away from Indiana's top-ranked hoops team.

"Other than a game-winning shot," said former Indiana player and coach Dan Dakich, "I think it's the coolest thing out there."

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