Midnight Madness kicks off college hoops season
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – The North Carolina Tar Heels, the
defending national champions, were one of several teams to officially kick off
the college basketball season as the tradition of Midnight Madness took
shape Friday night.
The Tar Heels, who defeated Illinois in the title game, have essentially a
whole new team this year, as Sean May, Rashad McCants, Jawad Williams, Raymond
Felton and Marvin Williams are no longer on the team. They were the top five
Also Friday night, Kentucky welcomed 23,174 fans to Rupp Arena for their
Midnight Madness. However, the Wildcats started the festivities well before
midnight, as new NCAA rules allowed teams to begin the practice earlier than
the traditional midnight start.
This year, the NCAA adjusted the rules to allow teams full team practice time
for four hours per week, which started in late August. However, teams were
restricted from full five-on-five scrimmaging until Friday night.
Some other programs with that held Midnight Madness festivities on Friday were
Illinois, Connecticut, Maryland and Kansas.
The idea of practicing at the first possible minute was started by Lefty
Driesell, who retired as coach at Georgia State in the middle of last season.
Driesell began Midnight Madness while the head coach at Maryland in 1970.