Midnight Madness in the ACC

Posted by Kellen Carpenter on October 18th, 2013

Once upon a time, Lefty Driesell, the head coach of the Maryland Terrapins, invented something he called Midnight Madness. To help build excitement for the coming basketball season, the team would have an open practice/scrimmage that would kick off at the first possible moment a team was allowed to practice. It was, honestly, kind of a weird idea. But sure enough, eventually students got on board with showing up late one night in October to watch their beloved Terrapins begin the season. This tradition quickly spread beyond Maryland to the rest of the ACC and, eventually, to much of the nation.

In 2013, the tradition is all but dead. This is Maryland’s last year in the ACC. Changes in NCAA rules now have allowed practice to begin much earlier in the season. Midnight Madness has gone from a near-universal tradition to ¬†an afterthought on many campuses. Still, Maryland is in the conference one more year and not everyone has given up on the event, so let’s take a quick look at those who are keeping the faith.

Driesell pioneered Midnight Madness at Maryland

Driesell pioneered Midnight Madness at Maryland

Celebrating Tonight

Somewhat fittingly, Maryland has the biggest treat for hoops fans: a return to historic Cole Field House, the home of Maryland basketball for so many years. Duke and Syracuse are offering ESPNU-covered scrimmages while NC State offers up the goofiest subtitle for their event, though they lose goofiest title to Clemson’s “Rock the John.” Incidentally, “Rock the John” will apparently feature fire jugglers, but that’s nothing compared to “Orange Madness.” Although Syracuse canceled a performance by rapper Ace Hood for their festivities, the event still promises a performance by Hilby the Skinny German Juggle Boy. No, really.

Celebrating Early

After giving up the title, “Jam With Ham,” Florida State’s preseason festivities have taken a remarkable turn downhill. I’m mostly just kidding, but both of these schools managed to have their Madness a bit earlier than most, and with a focus on football. FSU quarterback Jameis Winston somehow managed to have a starring role in this basketball event. Still, Pittsburgh’s tactic of having their basketball event as a morning warm-up to their homecoming game was perhaps more blatant. Still, Pittsburgh’s event did feature head coach Jamie Dixon doing a Family Feud parody as a Duck Dynasty character… so there’s that.

Celebrating Late

The “Late” in the title may no longer refer to the hour, but this year, it refers to the date. The Tar Heels are not celebrating March Madness until next Friday. Promising the same wholesome combination of skits with poor acting and freshman basketball players stiffly trying to perform dance routines, it looks like more of the same in Chapel Hill with not one Skinny German Juggle Boy in sight.

Not Celebrating At All

  • Boston College
  • Georgia Tech
  • Miami
  • Notre Dame
  • Virginia
  • Virginia Tech
  • Wake Forest

Sure. If you are Wake Forest, Boston College, or Georgia Tech, it makes sense. Maybe you should focus on winning games before hyping up your fans (though this logic isn’t stopping Clemson). Still, it’s somewhat shocking to see Miami doing so little to hype up their fan base after the remarkable season the Hurricanes had last year. Still, we get it: Syracuse already booked the Skinny German Juggle Boy, so what is even the point?

KCarpenter (269 Posts)


Share this story

Leave a Reply