We’re Talkin’ About Practices: 2012 EditionPosted by rtmsf on October 12th, 2012
In a little more than a half-day, coaches, players, fans and media alike will begin congregating at gyms on college campuses around the country to celebrate one of the most unique traditions in all of sports — Midnight Madness. Even though nobody actually holds their season-opening fan frenzy at the witching hour anymore, the name has hung on for dear life, perhaps in the hope that some enterprising schools will someday bring back the doppelganger of Lefty Driesell’s creativity.
As far as we can tell, about half of last year’s NCAA Tournament field will hold an event on Friday night, highlighted by the star-studded shows at Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Michigan State and aired throughout the evening on ESPNU. Another 15 or so will hold some kind of celebratory event on a separate day, and the remainder for some unconscionable reason are taking the year off. If we got something wrong as far as the details, shoot us an email and we’ll fix it. We’re going to be watching all the coverage and keeping track of the events around the country throughout Friday evening, so feel free to tweet @rushthecourt and/or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have some great photos, videos or simply anecdotes and rumors to share.
Here is a list of last season’s NCAA Tournament teams (along with a few other prominent basketball schools) who will be holding a season-opening celebration TONIGHT (major h/t to Jeremy Pfingsten for doing the heavy lifting and research on this piece). We’ll have the stragglers listed a bit later this weekend.
FRIDAY NIGHT EVENT (note: ESPNU will begin its coverage from Bloomington, Indiana, at 5 PM ET)
- Baylor – Moonlight Madness featuring both the men’s and women’s teams at 8:30 PM CT at the Ferrell Center. ESPNU will provide national television coverage.
- Colorado – Buffs Madness represents the first Midnight Madness at the school in 16 years. Celebration will begin after the volleyball game that starts at 7 PM MT.
- Connecticut - UConn’s First Night festivities will begin at 7 PM ET. According to the UConn athletic department, fans will be treated to performances by the marching band, the cheer and dance squads, a dunk contest and giveaways.
- Creighton – Bluejay Madness at 8 PM CT will include introductions of the players from both the women’s and men’s teams, a three-point shooting contest, scrimmages by both squads, and a dunk contest featuring a few of the men’s players.
- Detroit – 2012 Titan Tip-Off will get underway with the President’s Championship Celebration in the Titan Club Room at 4:30 PM ET, followed by on-court festivities at 5 PM.
- Florida State – The Seminoles will tip off their ACC title defense season with a practice at the Donald Tucker Center at 7 PM ET, part of the group of schools featured on ESPNU that night.
- Georgetown – This is the seventh-straight year ESPNU has featured Midnight Madness coverage and this is the fourth time Georgetown has been part of the televised coverage. Word on the street is that Doug E. Fresh will be there.
- Indiana – Jay Williams & Dan Dakich will tip off ESPNU’s programming with live walk-through coverage of IU’s first real practice at 5 PM ET.
- Kansas – Late Night in the Phog will be featured on ESPNU as well, with festivities beginning at 6:30 PM CT. It will also be aired online at AT&T Jayhawk All-Access via KUathletics.com.
- Kentucky – Coming off a national title and a tremendous two weeks of recruiting news, what will John Calipari have in store during Big Blue Madness (tickets sold out in 35 minutes, btw)? In addition to ESPNU’s coverage, complete live coverage will be shown online on ESPN3 beginning at 7:30 PM ET.
- Lehigh – Lehigh Madness tips off at 10:45 PM in Grace Hall. There will be contests, music, giveaways and much more as the Mountain Hawks kick off 2012-13.
- Marquette – Marquette Madness begins at 7 PM CT at the Al McGuire Center. One lucky Marquette student will win two floor seats to a Big East home game this season for submitting their best Buzz Williams impersonation.
- Maryland – Maryland Madness will begin at 7 PM ET from the Comcast Center. Len Elmore, a 1974 Maryland graduate and three-time All-ACC center, was supposed to be the live commentator checking in from College Park as part of ESPNU’s “whip-around” segments, but with his recent fainting spell, it’s unclear if he will be active this weekend.
- Memphis – During this year’s Memphis Madness event, fans will have the opportunity to win several prizes, including a 2012 Ford-150 and an all-expenses paid trip to The Bahamas for the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. On-court festivities get under way at 8 PM CT.
- Michigan State – The event will begin with autographs for Spartan fans on the Breslin Center concourse. The formal program will begin at 10:30 PM ET and feature the introduction of the men’s and women’s basketball teams, but more importantly, Tom Izzo in some kind of strange outfit.
- Minnesota – “Gopher All-Star Friday Night” will have the look of NBA All-Star weekend and feature a two-ball shooting competition, a three-point shooting competition, a dunk contest and a scrimmage.
- Missouri – Missouri Madness celebrates the school’s transition to the SEC with Laurence Bowers back in uniform and full coverage on ESPNU. The event will begin at 7 PM CT.
- Murray State – Racer Madness begins at 9:15 PM at the CFSB Center in addition to coverage on ESPNU as the school celebrates the best season in MSU basketball history.
- NC State – A season of huge expectations will begin with Primetime With the Pack at 7 PM ET, with Sam Gore and Bruce Pearl (yes, that one) providing live coverage on both ESPNU and ESPN3.
- New Mexico – The Lobo Howl will start at 6 PM MT at The Pit and will include both the men’s and women’s teams signing autographs and light scrimmages.
- North Carolina – Late Night With Roy will start at 7:30 PM and be streamed online by ESPN3 with ESPNU coverage coming from Doris Burke. Be sure to follow @LateNightwRoy on Twitter for behind-the-scenes planning and the official countdown to the start of the UNC basketball season. The hashtag #LNWR2012 is another way to learn in real time what ridiculous dance the Tar Heels come up with this year.
- Oregon – Matt Knight Madness festivities will include a t-shirt giveaway as well as raffles for custom Pit Crew Air Jordans and jackets, and autographed basketballs from both teams. The event will begin immediately after Oregon’s 6 PM PT volleyball game is over, and it will be covered live by the Pac-12 Networks.
- Pittsburgh – Perhaps the coolest idea of the year, Pitt will have its Midnight Madness under the lights and on the street this season. Specifically, Bigelow Boulevard near campus, tipping off in the cool autumn air at 10 PM ET — ESPNU and ESPN3 will provide coverage.
- Providence – Late Night Madness, starting at 10 PM ET, will include a three-point shooting contest and a slam dunk competition featuring members of the men’s basketball team. Junior guard Bryce Cotton, who won the 2010 and 2011 slam dunk competitions, will attempt to defend his titles, while former Friar greats will serve as the celebrity judges of the slam dunk competition.
- Purdue – The Tip-Off Before the KickOff will celebrate the return of basketball along with a pep rally for Purdue’s weekend football game against Wisconsin on Saturday. The basketball portion of the evening is expected to begin at around 9:15 PM ET.
- San Diego State – SDSU’s Madness on the Mesa returns at 9 PM PT with DJ Fingaz in the house to spin in concert with video highlights throughout the night.
- South Florida – The first-ever Bulls Basketball HoopLa will tip off at 8 PM ET, and fans will have the opportunity to win a three-day cruise for two to the Bahamas, a round trip flight for two to Las Vegas along with a flight, hotel and two full-session tickets to the 2013 Big East Men’s Basketball Championship. Not to mention the free food for students…
- Syracuse – Former Syracuse basketball player Scoop Jardine and Jasmine Jordan, a current SU student and the daughter of NBA legend Michael Jordan, will co-host Orange Madness at the Carrier Dome, beginning at 8 PM ET. Rapper Wale is also expected to be in the house, with coverage provided by ESPNU and ESPN3.
- Western Kentucky - The first 500 fans will receive a free Hilltopper Hysteria t-shirt as they enter the volleyball match prior to the event, courtesy of Coca-Cola.
A number of other schools are having Madnesses later this month — we’ll put up a separate post with details of those events soon. ENJOY THE MADNESS!!!!