College Basketball: Midnight Madness and the start of the CBB schedule

ByAndrew Pistone

2 min read

College Basketball: Midnight Madness and the start of the CBB schedule

Many college basketball fans think that the season gets underway in earnest around Thanksgiving, when there are several high profile early season tournaments taking place all over the country. However, it might be more appropriate to say that things get kicked off much earlier in October with Midnight Madness.

Most of us are intimately familiar with the excitement that March Madness can bring, but Midnight Madness is a concept not everyone might know much about. Held several weeks before the first game, Midnight Madness is essentially a big party thrown by the school to get the fans excited about the upcoming season. As you might have guessed, these festivities are held at a specific time of the evening—midnight! Despite the late start, fans, athletes and alumni like fill the arena with good vibes, hope, and well wishes for the upcoming campaign.

Not many can resist a good natured event such as Midnight madness, but who’s idea was it to start the party so late? The tradition began with a lot less fanfare at the University of Maryland before the 1971 college basketball season. Terrapins head coach Lefty Driesell sent his players to run for one mile just after 12AM during the start of the season. Little did anyone know, that classic coaching decision would turn into a gala that would be broadcasted on ESPN+.

“This was Lefty’s way of saying, ‘Hey world, Maryland is here now. We got a great team and I’m going to be the first team in America to practice,” Tom McMillen said Via NBCsports.com.

McMillen was on the Maryland basketball team during that groundbreaking run.

It doesn’t matter whether the program has fallen on hard times, or whether the recruiting season didn’t go as planned. Everyone and their mother, or their wives, looks forward to Midnight Madness.

“…We’ll have Hoosier Hysteria, which my wife has been telling me for about 60 straight days,” former Indiana men’s basketball coach Tom Crean said while he was leading the Hoosiers. “’Quit trying to run drills. Make it entertaining for the fans’(Crean’s wife said)”. “So I’m trying to listen to her on that.” Via Indystar.com

It’s such a spectacle, that celebrity acts often show up to campus. Midnight Madness for the Kansas Jayhawks(also known as Light Night In the Phog) featured a performance by Run DMC earlier this month. The Memphis Tigers brought in rappers Lil Baby and Future to perform at their Midnight Madness kickoff in 2019.

If you’re really lucky, the coach of the basketball team might agree to be shot out of a cannon. Midnight Madness might be the best sports-related party you’ve never heard of.

Are you an Athlete?

Create a free profile to access the largest network specifically designed to connect athletes to opportunities. Get started.

RELATED ARTICLES
USA Football Dominates 2023: Unprecedented Growth and Digital Combine Triumphs

USA Football Dominates 2023: Unprecedented Growth and Digital Combine Triumphs

2023 has proved to be a year of acceleration for the sport of flag football. From a pivotal Olympic...

ByTiffany Allen | Mon Dec 18 2023
USA Triathlon Celebrates New Heights in November

USA Triathlon Celebrates New Heights in November

In a dynamic collaboration aimed at boosting collegiate triathlon, USA Triathlon joined forces with...

ByTiffany Allen | Wed Dec 13 2023
Rise to the Challenge: Join the USA Triathlon Virtual Combine this November

Rise to the Challenge: Join the USA Triathlon Virtual Combine this November

Are you ready to put your skills to the test, go beyond your limits, and claim your spot amongst...

ByTiffany Allen | Wed Oct 18 2023
USA Football and GMTM Announce 2023 Digital Combine

USA Football and GMTM Announce 2023 Digital Combine

USA Football and GMTM will hold the second U.S. National Team Digital Combine with GMTM to identify...

BySamuel Teets | Thu Aug 10 2023
USA Bobsled & Skeleton Launches Registration for August In-Person Combine

USA Bobsled & Skeleton Launches Registration for August In-Person Combine

USA Bobsled & Skeleton has launched registration for their next in-person combine open to the...

ByTiffany Allen | Tue Aug 01 2023
How To Participate in the 2023 Virtual World Flip League

How To Participate in the 2023 Virtual World Flip League

U.S. Ski & Snowboard has just launched the first Virtual World Flip League. The Virtual World Flip...

ByTiffany Allen | Wed Jul 05 2023
USA Bobsled & Skeleton Hosts In-Person Combine Open to the Public

USA Bobsled & Skeleton Hosts In-Person Combine Open to the Public

USA Bobsled & Skeleton has been working to provide unique opportunities for aspiring athletes to...

ByTiffany Allen | Fri Jun 16 2023
Trending Stories from Volleyball Canada: March/April

Trending Stories from Volleyball Canada: March/April

A new season means new events and opportunities for volleyball athletes across Canada. As the...

ByJoey Grant | Thu Apr 20 2023
USA Team Handball: Three Handball events you should pay attention to this month

USA Team Handball: Three Handball events you should pay attention to this month

It may seem like a sleepy time for Olympic sports, halfway through a year with no Olympic games....

ByTiffany Allen | Wed Apr 12 2023
Meet The Top Finishers At The 2023 USA Bobsled & Skeleton National Championships

Meet The Top Finishers At The 2023 USA Bobsled & Skeleton National Championships

LAKE PLACID, NY - The 2023 Skeleton Selection Races and the USABS National Championships for both...

ByAbby Slenker | Thu Mar 30 2023
USA Football announces final rosters for 2023 Men’s and Women’s Flag National Teams

USA Football announces final rosters for 2023 Men’s and Women’s Flag National Teams

INDIANAPOLIS – USA Football, a member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and the sport's...

ByTiffany Allen | Thu Mar 23 2023
4 GMTM Athletes Attend USA Football's National Team Trials

4 GMTM Athletes Attend USA Football's National Team Trials

March 10, 2023 - It’s a gray, rainy Friday morning in Charlotte, NC. We’re inside the Belk...

ByTiffany Allen | Thu Mar 16 2023
College Basketball: Four Coaches Who Could Switch Jobs After March Madness

College Basketball: Four Coaches Who Could Switch Jobs After March Madness

While the games from November through February certainly count in the standings, the tilts that...

ByAndrew Pistone | Wed Mar 15 2023
Name, Image, & Likeness: March Madness Offers Rare NIL Opportunities

Name, Image, & Likeness: March Madness Offers Rare NIL Opportunities

For college basketball fans around the country, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year....

ByAndrew Pistone | Tue Mar 07 2023
Five Reasons Why College Basketball Coaches Rescind Scholarship Offers

Five Reasons Why College Basketball Coaches Rescind Scholarship Offers

It’s what you have dreamed of, worked for, and waited on your whole life - a coveted college...

ByScotty Jenkins | Mon Feb 13 2023
How Ohio State Handball Is Becoming A Talent Pipeline For European Clubs

How Ohio State Handball Is Becoming A Talent Pipeline For European Clubs

J.D. Orr isn’t the most recognized coach at Ohio State. At a state school where the athletic...

ByScotty Jenkins | Mon Dec 12 2022
Why The Transfer Portal Is So Important For College Basketball Coaches

Why The Transfer Portal Is So Important For College Basketball Coaches

2019 was a transformative year in NCAA athletics. The NCAA Transfer Portal, a database which allows...

ByKeiwaine Hicks | Sun Dec 11 2022
Recruiting Rankings: Should I Be Worried If I’m Not A Ranked Basketball Player?

Recruiting Rankings: Should I Be Worried If I’m Not A Ranked Basketball Player?

Getting ranked - it’s the ultimate goal and source of motivation for many basketball players across...

ByScotty Jenkins | Sun Dec 04 2022
"What Is A 5-Star Recruit?": Explaining how high school basketball prospect rankings work

"What Is A 5-Star Recruit?": Explaining how high school basketball prospect rankings work

High School basketball players like Bronny James are all over TV and social media nowadays, with...

ByScotty Jenkins | Thu Dec 01 2022
Five Ways To Boost Your Basketball Recruiting with Social Media

Five Ways To Boost Your Basketball Recruiting with Social Media

Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, GMTM, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook... Social media is a...

ByKeiwaine Hicks | Sat Nov 19 2022
Why Is Boise State’s Football Field Blue?

Why Is Boise State’s Football Field Blue?

Some of college football’s most daunting homefield advantages come to mind pretty quickly. The Big...

ByAndrew Pistone | Tue Oct 11 2022
College Basketball: Midnight Madness and the start of the CBB schedule

College Basketball: Midnight Madness and the start of the CBB schedule

Many college basketball fans think that the season gets underway in earnest around Thanksgiving,...

ByAndrew Pistone | Fri Sep 30 2022
College Basketball: What Is The NCAA Transfer Portal And How Does It Work

College Basketball: What Is The NCAA Transfer Portal And How Does It Work

With the ever-changing NCAA and college athletics scene, transfer athletes have become more and...

ByScotty Jenkins | Thu Sep 15 2022
2022 College Football Cheat Sheet: Who Will Finish On Top In The Big Ten

2022 College Football Cheat Sheet: Who Will Finish On Top In The Big Ten

It's not the flashiest conference, nor is it the most talented, but Big Ten football offers...

ByBryan Armetta | Mon Sep 05 2022
College Football: Why Head Coach Salaries At Top Schools Keep Going Up

College Football: Why Head Coach Salaries At Top Schools Keep Going Up

What does one normally associate with the position of college football head coach? Leaders of men....

ByBryan Armetta | Sun Sep 04 2022
College Football: Are Spencer Rattler and South Carolina SEC East Contenders?

College Football: Are Spencer Rattler and South Carolina SEC East Contenders?

Competing in the SEC is not for everybody. Lost in the shuffle of the annual arms race between...

ByBryan Armetta | Sun Sep 04 2022
How UConn Has Dominated Women’s College Basketball

How UConn Has Dominated Women’s College Basketball

Women’s College Basketball and UConn are two terms that you will often hear together as they have...

ByScotty Jenkins | Thu Sep 01 2022
Basketball Recruiting: Four Ways To Improve Your Chances Of Getting A Scholarship

Basketball Recruiting: Four Ways To Improve Your Chances Of Getting A Scholarship

College basketball recruiting is structured in a time-sensitive and fast-paced manner:...

ByScotty Jenkins | Mon Aug 29 2022
Five Ways To Gain A College Basketball Coach’s Attention in the First Correspondence

Five Ways To Gain A College Basketball Coach’s Attention in the First Correspondence

Whether by writing a letter or sending an e-mail, reaching out to a college basketball coach for...

ByKeiwaine Hicks | Thu Aug 25 2022
A Few Reasons Why Americans Are So Obsessed With College Sports

A Few Reasons Why Americans Are So Obsessed With College Sports

Of all the interesting traditions Americans have, few are more difficult for a foreign audience to...

ByScotty Jenkins | Tue Aug 23 2022
College Football: Four Of The Best College Towns In Division-I

College Football: Four Of The Best College Towns In Division-I

What makes a college sports town great? It certainly helps to eat, live and breathe the experience...

ByAndrew Pistone | Mon Aug 22 2022
Four Things Recruiting Highlights Don't Show College Basketball Coaches

Four Things Recruiting Highlights Don't Show College Basketball Coaches

You clipped together the perfect highlight tape: the half-court buzzer beater, the flashy handles,...

ByKeiwaine Hicks | Fri Aug 19 2022
Four Ways College Basketball Coaches Will Show Interest In Recruits

Four Ways College Basketball Coaches Will Show Interest In Recruits

Postcards from sunny, resort locations such as the Bahamas or Hawaii. Pictures of the team smiling...

ByKeiwaine Hicks | Sun Aug 14 2022
Name, Image, & Likeness: Duke, Kentucky remain popular destinations for college basketball recruits

Name, Image, & Likeness: Duke, Kentucky remain popular destinations for college basketball recruits

The name, image, and likeness of college athletes has been a topic of discussion for several years,...

ByScotty Jenkins | Tue Aug 02 2022
Basketball Recruiting: Do the top high school teams get more attention from college coaches?

Basketball Recruiting: Do the top high school teams get more attention from college coaches?

If you are a basketball fan, player, or coach, you’ve often heard about or have watched some of the...

ByKeiwaine Hicks | Fri Jul 22 2022
College Basketball Scholarships: Four Unknown Truths Every Recruit Should Know

College Basketball Scholarships: Four Unknown Truths Every Recruit Should Know

For many people in the basketball community, a college basketball scholarship is held in the...

ByKeiwaine Hicks | Wed Jul 20 2022
Distracting Game Film? Here are six types of videographers to avoid during your biggest games

Distracting Game Film? Here are six types of videographers to avoid during your biggest games

If you desire to get recruited to play college basketball, it’s paramount that you record games,...

ByScotty Jenkins | Fri Jul 15 2022
College Visit: Three Ways To Determine If a Basketball Coach Is The Right Fit

College Visit: Three Ways To Determine If a Basketball Coach Is The Right Fit

The atmosphere is electric: bands playing trendy music, a packed arena or stadium full of screaming...

ByKeiwaine Hicks | Thu Jun 30 2022
2022 College Football Conference Preview: Which Pac 12 Team Will End On Top

2022 College Football Conference Preview: Which Pac 12 Team Will End On Top

The Pac-12 hasn't seen a team reach the College Football Playoff since Washington in 2016. It's a...

ByBryan Armetta | Mon Jun 27 2022
Is USC Football Finally Back? Recapping Lincoln Riley's First Spring As Trojans Head Coach

Is USC Football Finally Back? Recapping Lincoln Riley's First Spring As Trojans Head Coach

We hear about 'culture changes' in college football all the time; one-season turnarounds ushered in...

ByBryan Armetta | Fri Jun 17 2022
Recruiting: Why does Division-I Basketball have the most teams of any sport?

Recruiting: Why does Division-I Basketball have the most teams of any sport?

Athletes looking to move onto a DI college or university have the best chance if they play...

ByScotty Jenkins | Wed Jun 15 2022
College Basketball: Why Experience Still Matters For Division-I Teams

College Basketball: Why Experience Still Matters For Division-I Teams

College basketball's history is filled with teams that had to overcome adversity on the road to a...

ByBryan Armetta | Mon Jun 13 2022
College Football: Are the Houston Cougar's This Season's Cincinnati?

College Football: Are the Houston Cougar's This Season's Cincinnati?

Prior to 2021, the thought of a non-Power 5 program reaching the College Football Playoff was...

ByBryan Armetta | Mon Jun 13 2022
College Basketball: Three Top Programs That Could Miss the NCAA Tournament

College Basketball: Three Top Programs That Could Miss the NCAA Tournament

Anyone who enjoys college basketball understands this is the closest one can get to sheer chaos in...

ByBryan Armetta | Mon Jun 13 2022
College Basketball: Three Biggest Coaching Hires of the Offseason

College Basketball: Three Biggest Coaching Hires of the Offseason

Once upon a time, long before the transfer portal and NIL deals, college basketball offseasons were...

ByBryan Armetta | Sun Jun 12 2022
2022 College Football Conference Preview: Who The Favorites Are In The SEC

2022 College Football Conference Preview: Who The Favorites Are In The SEC

S-E-C! S-E-C! S-E-C! It's a chant embraced by the South and universally reviled everywhere else....

ByBryan Armetta | Thu Jun 09 2022
College Football: Five Best Non-Conference Games Of 2022

College Football: Five Best Non-Conference Games Of 2022

The end of the college football season is a bittersweet time for fans across the nation. Despite an...

ByBryan Armetta | Sun May 15 2022
How Does a Walk-On Program Work for a Typical College Basketball Program?

How Does a Walk-On Program Work for a Typical College Basketball Program?

Everyone can picture the scene on Signing Day for ascending high school seniors who have been...

ByAndrew Pistone | Tue May 10 2022
Men's Basketball: How Shaheen Holloway and St. Peter's Can Stay Relevant After March Madness

Men's Basketball: How Shaheen Holloway and St. Peter's Can Stay Relevant After March Madness

Saint Peter's historic run was full of dramatic moments and unexpected surprises. All except one:...

ByBryan Armetta | Thu Apr 21 2022
Men's Basketball: Eric Musselman and Arkansas Are Speeding Ahead of the SEC

Men's Basketball: Eric Musselman and Arkansas Are Speeding Ahead of the SEC

Moments after Arkansas took down top overall seed Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament, head coach Eric...

ByBryan Armetta | Wed Apr 20 2022